Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
March 15th, 2010

Chas Kestermeier, S.J.

English Department
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The passage from Isaiah is curiously upbeat for Lent, and especially for this point in Lent.  The prophet stresses the fact that God will make a new beginning, and the terms he uses seem to indicate that this will even be a new creation.  He begins on the outside, with the "new heaven" and the "new earth," then moves to the renovation of the lives of the people.  He also points to an end to suffering and death, and we read all this just two weeks before we begin Holy Week.  The Church chose this passage without the additional words of Isaiah, apparently to stress this idea of rejoicing.

We might notice as well that the psalm chosen for today reflects this joy: "At nightfall weeping enters in, but with the dawn rejoicing" and "You changed my mourning into dancing."
And today is the day after "Laetare Sunday," a day of rejoicing...

I think that the Church is calling us, in the midst of our penitence and fasting, to realize what this season of Lent celebrates, where it is actually going: Christ lived and suffered and died for us, a long a painful process for Him, but He is not calling us to pain and death but to His Kingdom, His eternal life past that door that we must all pass through.

This is the Jesus, who "for the joy set before Him endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2).  This is the Jesus who calls us to follow Him in trust, in love, and in hope, and that in itself is a cause for joy.

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