March 23, 2022
by Eileen Burke-Sullivan
Creighton University's Division of Mission and Ministry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 239

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Matthew 5:17-19

Praying Lent Home

Looking at Marriage in Lent

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

The Midpoint of Lent

The readings today invite us to consider our relationship to God and the urgency of seeking to see and understand reality as God creates it and loves it, including and especially God’s “plan” for the flourishing of human persons.

What Moses and the Jews in the Desert (who we are walking with during these Lenten days) discovered is that God’s LAW can be best imagined as God’s desire for the great joy of the whole human community.  God created Adam and Eve to flourish in the heart of the Trinity which is a garden of total joy and growth.  At the center of the Garden is the Tree of Life – by which we humans can discover right relationship with our Creator. 

We humans are designed as creatures that God intends to become companions for each other.  The key to this companionship is our acceptance of God’s desire for us that we love and care for one another and honor God the creator.

By my will, God’s gift that distinguishes me from other animal creatures, I can choose to participate in the creative action of God; shaping my desires and thus shaping my selfhood.  What today’s readings tell us is that to shape our authentic selfhood, that self that will flourish and bring forth fruit, I need to allow my will to be shaped by God’s hope for me.  This doesn’t mean that God controls every little decision, but rather there are core behaviors that allow me to explore the ways that the world contributes to my joy by virtue of God’ plan.

The central choice is to recognize that I am not the source of my life, so I am called to honor and obey the One who calls me into being and gifts me beyond my understanding. A core choice requires me to seek community and to be formed by the love and care of others.  As choice that is at the core of my flourishing is to love myself in gratitude to the creator. Another core choice requires that I not hoard goods but share them with those unable to secure them for themselves.  Always a core choice is to reverence life – all life around me, the life of nature that nurtures me, the cosmos that surrounds our world, and above all the lives other humans at every stage of life. 

The logic of God’s law – given in a verbal set of teachings to God’s people – is this.  If we seek and follow God’s desire, we become our fullest and truest self as we are created to be.  In that context we flourish, we love and are loved, we give life to all around us, we enable others to discover themselves, and mysteriously in this project God transfigures us into such intimate companionship that we are drawn into Trinitarian life and share the power and the joy of being Divinized, that is made Holy as God is Holy.  That is the outcome of Easter for those who truly walk with God’s pilgrim people and discover God’s desire as expressed in the teaching or the law of love. 

The Church gave us the account of the disclosure of Jesus’ Transfiguration on the Second Sunday of Lent to show us that his transfiguration in glory occurred in the labor of His Mission.  As companions of Jesus in Mission and love we are transfigured by seeking and following God’s will in the law He gave us.

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