Gen. 2: 7-9; 3: 1-7, Romans 5: 12-19, Matthew 4: 1-11
Hiroshima: The Unkillable Human by Frederick Franck at Wellspring in Gaithersburg, MD
As we enter Lent, be reminded of the first rung on Benedict’s Ladder of Humility – Fear of the Lord. Perhaps, today, it could be said that we are challenged to be in”right relationship” with God. But, as it is with any relationship in our lives we have the choice to show our true selves to the other. And, as we are choosing, what do we hear?
“Here I Am!” … Do you really say that – more importantly, mean it – every time throughout the day when you hear Me call your name? Why do you drag your feet by distracting yourself with less important things … until the time for genuine encounter has passed, and you have no “choice” but to go your own way? Don’t worry – when you are listening, you will ALWAYS hear Me call you.
Is it really that hard to live the life I have asked you to live? I have chosen YOU for it! I did not do it casually, but sometimes, you have responded to My call, casually. Just accept it, and get on with that life! The things you will do may not make you famous or rich; but, when the time comes, you will be with Me, forever! Pretty good deal, eh?!
You need endurance to do My will, and accept the promise of eternal life! It’s a long haul, isn’t it? Do you remember all I encountered in the 40 days & nights I spent in the desert? If you endure each challenge by proclaiming My Word, then you will be tended to by the same angels who tended to Me because public ministry still lies ahead!
Change of Heart – Metanoia – Transformation … Whatever you might call it, YOU have to become different! You have to become almost unrecognizable to those who knew you before you and I became true & intimate friends. If you are disturbed by what used to seem acceptable, then it’s happening!
COVENANT not CONVENIENCE … To choose Covenant means to make choices that might seem inconvenient, but are the dabs of glue which connect you to Me. Even when our connection feels to you like the desert – dry and cracked – My fecundity awaits.
Do NOT be afraid to ask Me anything! Your troubles are Mine, and I will hold you as you sort them out. Call on the gifts of the Holy Spirit – take time – be patient – to come out the other side still in relationship with Me. Our friendship will be shown to others, and they may choose to walk with me, as well.
So, where are you???
God, at times, life feels like a tug o’ war. The 40 days in the desert, then, eventually, the agony in the garden were on one end of the rope You gave your Son. His pull spanned three years, but for me, sometimes EACH DAY feels like that. I know I am human, and the choices made by Adam & Eve guarantee that to continue. But, when I truly look outside of myself, I see You standing next to me pulling on my rope! God, may Your angels go before me, and may Your love be embodied in me as I leave my comfort zones and enter into Lent. I know I will always be accompanied while I encounter my foes … doubt, hurt, impatience, judgement, resentment, anger … HERE I AM, and HERE I GO!
Bob Jacobs, OblSB, St. Gertrude Monastery, Ridgely, MD