March 1, 2021
by Tom Shanahan, SJ
Creighton University's Athletic Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Second Week in Lent
Lectionary: 230

Daniel 9:4b-10
Psalms 79:8, 9, 11 and 13
Luke 6:36-38

Praying Lent

Doing Lent As A Family

The Second Week of Lent - 41 min. - Text Transcript

In our reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, the author does not hide nor flee from the sin of the Israelite people.  They have just endured being driven out of their Holy Land into an exile existence away from Jerusalem.  And, happily, the people are open to hearing what would seem to be the un-hearable: that they need radically to turn themselves over to God’s mercy and forgiveness.

In their heart of hearts, the people know that God’s mercy and forgiveness is his fierce loyalty to the Covenant established with the people.  They are and they openly admit their unfaithfulness, through God’s constancy towards them.  That recognition and awareness challenges them to recall God’s love and consciousness reflected in the Covenant: I AM your Lord, and you are MY people.  Thus, it is not surprising that they are in the mess they find themselves in.

But they soldier on, moving back to God; praying that the Lord does not “deal with them according to (their) sins.”  Isn’t that the way to approach God in the context of our failing in faithfulness to God?  A wonderful model for reconciling to God.

Yes, and that what this “joyful” season (Pope Francis) of Lent is all about for us sinners, preciously loved by God.  What makes the season joyful is the reality of the God of our lives, constantly faithful in his love for us.  I might give up on myself, but God never gives up on me!

Today’s gospel has a special way of nicking us to the core.  Among many other foibles, we are judgmental and condemning of others.  Lent shines God’s light of love on us and calls us to recognize/realize our obvious need for our God who rescues us from a tendency to move away from God.

So, it seems that the readings given to us today are a kind of conspiracy that helps us to take honest stock of ourselves. Taking stock allows us to focus on God’s desire to love us as we are and to let God’s grounding love be the center of our life and love.

Gracious and Merciful God, help us to be open to your life-giving love.  Thank you for the opportunity Lent affords us.  You invite us to be blessed by your love as it shows in its relationship with You (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and with brothers and sisters who cry out for your care and rescue.  Thank You for your call to service to you and to our sisters and brothers.  Keep us faithful to you and to your word!

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