March 14, 2018
by Mike Cherney
Creighton University's Physics Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 246

Isaiah 49:8-15
Psalms 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18
John 5:17-30

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Lent Prayer for Today

The Fourth Week of Lent - 31 min. - Text Transcript

Choosing Lent / Acting Lent

Family Prayer in Lent

Today’s readings moved me to think about the connection between a mother and her child. In Isaiah 49, a people are reminded of the Lord’s care for them in exile. This text outlines a Messianic mission. I give special consideration to the image of the unconditional care that a mother gives. The Gospel leads me to think about the unconditional response to one’s calling. John 5 gives us Jesus who has just upset the religious leaders by healing on the Sabbath. He antagonizes them even further when He lays out who He is.

I am a recent grandfather to pair of twins. I see how I respond to them, I see how their father responds to them and I see how their mother responds to them. To me it appears that a mother’s love is different. I am reminded how Abraham acts with obedience when put to test with Isaac in Genesis 22. I can only imagine if God had made the same request to Sarah. I can see her asking God to take her instead. The start of today’s first reading reminds me of God’s concern for his people, but the end gives me a new insight that is often lost when I limit myself to thinking of God as Father. This also leads me to different reading of the Psalm. In the past I would have imagined that the valiant God as having a male persona. Today I can replace “Him” with “Her” in the text and see the same kind, loving, protecting and merciful God from a different perspective.

Jesus makes known His extraordinary personal charge in the Gospel. This is not just a commitment to be a servant of God’s will, but it also reveals His special connection to God. I can imagine myself as one of the religious leaders. In that role I know how I would have slandered Jesus, but His response would be the type of thing that would put me over the edge. This reflection leaves me wondering today what my special connection to God is. How willing am I to demonstrate and to bluntly express my relationship with God?

Today my prayer is for an understanding of new perspectives.

Heavenly Father, the Heavenly Mother of Isaiah 49,
I often limit You in the way that I choose to perceive.
Open my eyes Lord to see You and Your works in all the ways that You express Yourself.
Help me to know where I fit into this picture.
Give me the courage to live out my calling.

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