March 9, 2023
by Barbara Dilly
Creighton University - Retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Second Week in Lent
Lectionary: 233

Jeramiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
Luke 16:19-31

Praying Lent

Lent with All My Heart

Online Stations of the Cross

The lessons for today remind us that trust, hope, generosity, and perseverance are the essential practices of the blessed.  So, I reflected more on what it means to be blessed. I got some new insights from a book I have been reading by a rural Mennonite pastor in Kansas.  In God’s Country,  Brad Roth says the word blessing derives from the Latin verb bene dicre, which is translated to mean “speak the good.” Roth says that blessing is not only seeing the good and speaking good into something, the act of blessing is also transformative. It is God’s blessing that forms and sustains us into being and also brings out the best in us and those we bless. Blessings are how God makes things happen!

So, when we read “blessed is the man who trusts in the lord, whose hope is in the Lord, we can envision a man who is not only good, but who is sustained in goodness, and who can make good happen. When we read “blessed are they who hope in the Lord,” we find that the Lord not only watches over those who follow the Lord to sustain them, but whatever they do prospers. They are set up to make even  more good happen.  And when we read, “blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance,” we get closer to the Gospel message for today. What are we to do with our blessings in this life?  It is not enough that we can be confident in the hope that God blesses us like the Pharisees. We are invited to receive God’s blessings with a generous heart, sharing with those in need, Like Lazarus. In blessing us, God brings out the best in us, which enables us to be a blessing to others in this life.  We are blessed to make good happen where it is needed. 

I wonder if that message is coming through clearly enough on all those commercial products these days that say, “Blessed.” Are people just thinking they are fortunate to be seen as good and to experience the good in life, or are they open to being transformed into something even better? And when many of us say we are blessed, are we just expressing gratitude for God’s goodness in our lives, or are we announcing a readiness and willingness to bless others by making still more good happen in the world?  It is my prayer today that we will all be “blessed” to be a blessing.

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