February 23, 2021
by Vivian Amu
St. John's Parish
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 225

Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalms 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19
Matthew 6:7-15

Praying Lent

Preparing for Lent

The First Week of Lent
February 21-27

When we hear the word of God, and we let it soak into the driest parts of our soul, we will feel God as near to us as our beating heart. The word of God is purposeful; It travels from the pages of each passage to our heart and then to the depth of our soul.  It is there where it bears the fruit for which it was intended to bring forth.  There is power, comfort, and nourishment in the word of God.  Our words can sometimes get us into trouble; our words can set us apart or bring us together because our words also affect others. God is part of us, and we are part of God, so yes, our words have power, our words can comfort, and our words can nourish others.  We must then be mindful of the seeds our words plant in the souls of others.

Have we spent time blessing others with our words?  Have we raised the spirit of someone feeling down just with our words?  Have we verbalized forgiveness to someone needing it, including ourselves? Or have we spent time holding others down with our words?  What do our words sound like or mean when we pray?  When did we last take the time to digest each line of the Lord’s prayer and relish the meaning of each word?  Do our words return to us void or reach far beyond and achieve their purpose?  How do I use my words?  How has the word of God engaged and mobilized me? 

The nourishing and relentless seed of life, which is God's word, becomes even more potent during the time of Lent because it is the time when we feel a particular type of barrenness. We might even find ourselves looking for signs of life or reminders that we are still fertile ground for God’s work as we search for ways to serve others during Lent. 

It helps to know we are not separated from God ---- O, how painful that would be? We don’t even need to babble on in mindless prayers because when our words come from our heart, God already knows what we seek; God already holds our words dearly and closely.  Even a few words from us become a powerful prayer.  God is near when our words are a cry for help.  God is near when our spirit is crushed and our heart is broken.  God is near when our words are filled with gratitude or even disappointment.  Our desire for joy is in line with God’s desire for us as well.  During this first week of Lent, may our words be in line with God’s love, and may the word of God nourish our thirsty souls.  We could find nourishment in the Lord’s prayer even more than ever as we call to our God to help us, forgive us, sustain us, and give us this day.

Lord God, we have been looking in the wrong places for sustenance, and then we found your word.  We are satisfied now, and we rest in your eternal word.

Have a blessed Lent, my friends.

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