Dear friends, as we come to the end of this first week of Lent, we find the eternal wisdom of the Holy Mother Church evident once again, as we are reminded with the Mass readings of today, that as we go through this life with all of it’s hardships and struggles, we are to look no farther than to Our Heavenly Father for all of our needs. Whether these needs be physical or spiritual… God is the answer for all of our needs. In the first reading from the Book of Esther we read:
“Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.“
We find Esther calling out to the Lord from her agony and her troubles. She has come to realize that her salvation comes from God. And then as we go further into the Mass, we hear from the Gospel of Matthew 7, that Jesus tells His disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
What a perfect timing. This is just the message that we the faithful need as we head towards the second week of Lent. Last week, many of us began our Lenten journey with giving up things, or with ‘doing without’ for Lent. According to the Church rules we are called to abstain and fast these forty days, and being so inclined, many of us add other sacrifices to our daily routine. As a whole, we are good at giving up things for Lent, but few of us are willing to take that leap of faith and put all of our trust into the Lord.
We give up our sweets and do our penances, but we don’t give ourselves over to God. And the Church, being the good Mother that She is… reminds us that instead of giving up, we should be more focused on looking up…on looking towards the Lord and instead of looking horizontal, or just focusing at our place here on earth, we should be drawing closer to the Lord. We should be uniting ourselves with the Lord, by placing all of our cares, all of our worries… all of our everything with God.
We have got to stop doubting what we have been taught. We have have to stop distrusting the Truth that Jesus Christ revealed to us through His disciples. Instead of living this Lent with the mindset of ‘what can I sacrifice?’ …or ‘what can I give up?’… Let’s take a moment today and ask God to help us to be who He created us to be. Let’s stop pretending that we can do it on our own, because we can’t… and we shouldn’t … God wants to help us. We are His children and He is more loving than the most loving Father here on earth. He wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to ask Him for everything. He wants us to be bold and ask for all of these things and more. After all, He wants us to submit ourselves to His Holy Will which is Love and Mercy Itself. Can you say ‘Jesus I Trust in You,’ and mean it. Really mean it ? Make that your goal for Lent. Let’s all make that our goal. We may just be surprised where we wind up. We never know where God will lead us, but we can be sure that it will always be what is best for us… even if at first, it doesn’t feel like it. Happy first Thursday of Lent. God bless.