Lenten Audio Conversations

Transcript of Second Week of Lent Conversation

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M = Maureen McCann Waldron
A = Andy Alexander, S.J.


A: This is our conversation about the second week of Lent. It’s wonderful to be into Lent this far, but it’s a good time to review where we are. Don’t you think this is a wise place to stop and look back and review our Lenten plan? 

M: Well yes, because on Ash Wednesday, maybe in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday, we thought about it, prayed about how we want this Lent to be different. Now we’re two weeks into it, and how is it going?

A: You know, we might have said “I want to increase my prayer”. Has that been happening?

M: I want to read the scripture readings every day. Have I gotten up a little early to take the time do something like that?

A: I might have had in my mind that I was going to examine myself and take advantage of this as a season of God’s gift and examine my conscience and look at the ways in which I have a need to change some patterns, and I haven’t done that yet. I might have said to myself that I want to fast more, to lean myself up a bit.

M: To be more alert and maybe I’m not as alert as I want to be. Or still in the back of my mind, well, I wanted to have less distractions. I wanted to watch less TV or I wanted to be at the computer less, surfing the internet.

A: Abstain from whatever got in my way.

M: Yeah, whatever is getting in the way of my relationship, and I haven’t really started that yet.

A: Or I may have made a commit, even had a plan for how I was going to do Almsgiving. We were going to save some money by what we did, like not going out to eat once a week, or something like that, and we haven’t gotten around to it. So this is a great time to stop and look back, renew our plan, and say, “I really want Lent to be a time of grace. God wants to give me something here and I need to do a few things”. It’s a good time to say maybe go to that Online Ministry site Praying Lent, and look at that daily prayer, and just let that brief thing renew me, or maybe it’s just the weekly guide, where I just look at that.

M: Or maybe some of the supporting materials, you know, how do I set my Lenten patterns, and how is it I want to enter into Lent?

A: Yeah, like it may be that there needs to be a time of renewal, and the resource there about relationships, the kinds of things that talk about spring cleaning, or looking at my marriage during Lent, those kinds of resources.

M: Or how to be with my children in Lent. How to make symbols in our home, the things I’m maybe a little shy about doing. Now’s the time. Lent is not over, Lent can begin today.

A: Exactly. So what we’re going to talk about now are the readings, which are just the treasury that the Church gives us. These go way back in our history.

M: Some of these readings have been in place since the earliest days of the Church. On Tuesday of the second week of Lent, this is what we will read. And so many of them are like that, and it gives me such a sense of the history, I want to say when I was a little girl, these would have been the same readings that my mother

A: And this is a treasury of those readings, that our families have looked at.

M: And the great saints, Saint Benedict, Saint Francis, Saint Ignatius, Saint Bernadette, they were all listening to all of these readings and being moved by them, the exact readings in Lent.

A: Yes, and if nothing else, it’s a time to slow down. That’s God’s gift to us, to encourage us to do it, and we all need it.

M: And it’s not something to sit and feel guilty about, it’s that God is offering us this gift and we want to say thanks, and use it. It’s for us.

A: So talk about Sunday.

M: Sunday’s readings are really wonderful, as they all are, during this part of Lent. But in these readings, God is revealing himself to us, particularly in the form of fire. And this reading is from Genesis, and the Lord takes Abraham outside and says “look at the stars”, this is the pact he is making with Abraham. He’s saying “count the stars in the sky, that is how numerous your children will be”, and at this point, Abraham has no children, his wife Sarah is not able to have children, and God is promising him, there will be numerous, numerous children of Abraham. It’s a wonderful moment, and so Abraham takes these sacrifices, a goat and some birds, and he cuts them in half and puts them on either side of the altar, and goes into a kind of a trance, and there is a burning torch that comes down the middle between the two halves of all these sacrifices. It’s fire. It reminds us of the numbers of ways that God comes to us as fire.

A: And so we begin by looking at God’s ways, God starts this covenant with his people, this chosen people, this gifted people, the people he calls his own, and promises outrageously that they will be blessed - “You be my people, and I’ll be your God”- and seals this covenant with the gift of his presence, and reminds us all the way back, so that when we come to Jesus, the fulfillment of that covenant, we are reminded of it on this day as we begin the second week. And Jesus takes Peter, James and John, up on a mountain, and we know what “up on a mountain” means, that’s a special place of encounter with God, and he is transfigured, he looks differently. He reveals to them his glory to prepare them, as the preface says, for the Feast of the Transfiguration, to prepare them for the scandal of the cross, to show them who he is, and how God is going to be wonderful in giving us this gift of new life in the resurrection. Who is there with him, Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the prophets, and it’s an overwhelming experience for them. Peter says “let’s build some tents here, some booths”, it’s a reminder of the Festival of Tents in Jewish history where they are celebrating the covenant, celebrating the freedom from Egypt, slavery, the journey through the Sinai, and then it becomes a harvest festival. It’s a wonderful celebration in the Jewish tradition because he knows something wonderful has happened. The scripture says “suddenly, he didn’t know what he was saying” because this wasn’t simply a celebration of the covenant, this was a new revelation.

M: This was something bigger than Peter could understand right then.

A: That’s right. And when they come down, Jesus is very cautious that they don’t tell anyone about it, because they will get it wrong. He is not coming to be glorified here on earth. He is coming to show them that he will suffer and die, so as to enter into his glory. It’s a marvelous thing.

M: You know, both of these stories, both the Genesis reading and this one from Luke, the Gospel, they both fall asleep. They both fall into some sort of trance. I mean all of the apostles have fallen asleep. When God appears, a darkness comes down and covers everyone, and when it lifts, then something is revealed. And I think how many times in our own lives, does darkness come down, and God is revealed in the middle of that darkness in some really hard things in our life, that’s where we suddenly realize that God really is there.

A: So this Sunday, any day this week, can be a transfiguration. I don’t see Jesus in glory. I don’t look upon him as the fulfillment, as the one who will take away the mystery of suffering and death, the power of sin overshadows us sometimes. And so this week of Lent, in my house, in my world, with my job, with my family, with my moods, can be a transfiguration so that my eyes are opened. There is light in the midst of our darkness, and that increases our desire, that makes it easier for us to think about celebrating the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed as the first preface of Lent says.

M: And we’re not going to see God in a burning torch, a cloud will not come down, we won’t see anything in dazzling white. But what every day thing are there where God is revealing himself to me? What people are there, what events, what things in my life are there where God is being revealed every day of my life?

A: And when we start to get that sense of wonder, and awe, the bigness of this, that what God is trying to do, it can bring us to our knees. And so on Monday of this second week, we hear Jesus saying “don’t judge, and you won’t be judged”. He wants us to be as merciful as God is, the call to forgive our enemies, the call to be merciful is really big. You know, I have a friend who sometimes reminds me of how judgmental we can be while trying to be good, reminds me that judgment is the reverse side of trying to be good. The closer I get to the Lord, the more the evil spirit tempts me to be proud, or to be arrogant, and to judge others who aren’t working as hard as I am, who haven’t been given the gifts I have been given, and so I look down on them. And in the search for holiness, I become harsh. And Jesus reminds us right off the bat, don’t judge, and you won’t be judged.

M: You know, what he’s saying here is a good way to go through Lent: stop judging, stop condemning, forgive, give gifts, and when you’re measuring something out, as we can picture this at a market place, you pick up your cloak and you measure grain into it, and you can fluff it up with air so it feels like there’s a lot more grain in there, or you can pack it down, and make sure you give them pLenty, and that’s what Jesus is saying.

A: Being generous.

M: Pack it together, shake it down, overflow the measuring cup that you are using, in judging other people, is the same one that’s going to be judging ourselves.

A: And I catch myself saying in my heart right now “man, you know, forgiving is hard.” The longer it’s been there, I can say maybe that’s what ought to be my Lenten project, is to ask the Lord to forgive me, to make me conscious of his mercy to me, so that I can become more grateful, more free, so that I can start to love others. The worst thing of all, is what failure to forgive does to us. If anger is stuck in me, it’s like cancer. Anger simply ruins me and doesn’t hurt the other person.

M: I have heard that the inability to forgive is like taking rat poison and hoping the rat dies. That’s not how you do it, that only kills yourself.

A: And if you smile at all about that, you know what this is about. And so I can beg for that grace. We’re not used to begging. I mean, maybe if a relative is very very sick or someone we love is in trouble, we will beg God for help. But if we beg for ourselves that the Lord purify our heart and make us more forgiving, is a great thing to do at this time early in Lent.

M: And there’s someone in all of our hearts that needs our forgiveness, and this is what we can be really asking for especially on this day.

A: If we need to pray the prayer of Daniel, who begs God to forgive, mercy and love are yours, O Lord, that’s what you do, that’s who you are, so please forgive us. Please look mercifully on us. That’s a great way to pray during Lent.

M: On Tuesday in the second week of Lent, we really start hearing the attack on hypocrisy, and the many faces that hypocrisy takes, avoiding religious hypocrisy particularly. And Isaiah is calling on “hear the word of the Lord, Princes of Sodom, Princes of Gomorrah”. Everyone knows those were wicked and evil cities that were destroyed, so what he’s doing is calling on his own nation, saying that the nation and the leaders are evil. And he is saying “listen to the instruction of our God. Wash yourselves clean”. But there is a sense of consolation, “come, let us set things right, says the Lord. Though your sins be like scarlet, they may be as white as snow”. I mean, there is a way we can be renewed in all of this, it doesn’t matter what our sins look like because they can become as white as snow.

A:    And that’s the encouraging part because, left alone, I think most of us don’t look at our sinfulness, because it seems negative and heavy and guilt-ridden, even shame based. And the good news is that our God is a loving God and wants to free us. This is a gift. This isn’t an obligation; this isn’t trying to make us feel bad. This is trying to help us, so that we really do see the love. And so, you know, the Scribes and Pharisees have taken their seat, Jesus says, on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things, whatever they tell you, but do not follow their example, for they preach, but they do not practice.

M: This must have been an astonishing message to hear from Jesus, because they thought of themselves as worthless, and the only people who were holy were the Scribes and Pharisees.

A: The greatest among you, must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled. But whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

M: He is turning everything on its ear. He is changing the whole perspective of everything we think about holiness. And it makes me think, how often do I forget what’s really important and I worry about how well I am coming across, how I appear in all of this, and I forget what Jesus said, “It’s not the appearance of holiness, it’s humility”, that’s the mark of his followers, “the greatest among you must be your servant”. No one leads like this. 

A: Exactly. And on Wednesday, which is usually like Friday – more penitential day – we have the third of Jesus’s predictions of his passion. Especially in Mark, this is part of the journey to Jerusalem; it is part of the way in which Jesus is healing the blindness of his disciples. The story began with the story of a blind man who couldn’t see very well, and Jesus had to do it a second time, things weren’t clear. It’s going to conclude in Jericho, right outside Jerusalem, when the fellow sees immediately and follows him on the road. Jesus is trying to heal the blindness of his disciples, so he tells them that he is going to go to Jerusalem, and there he’s going to die. But on the third day he will be raised again, and he catches them arguing among themselves because the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, she is advocating for her sons so that they may sit at his left and right when he comes into his glory. They are still imagining that he is going there to be made king.

M: He is just finished describing what is going to happen, you have to wonder at Jesus, did he shake his head and say: do the hear anything I’m saying?

A: Are they covering their ears and not listening? Are they just refusing? And, before we’re too harsh on them, that’s exactly what we do. Jesus has the message: if you want to be my disciple you have to take up your cross and follow me. You have to be this servant for others, and yet, week after week, we go to church, week after week, we call ourselves Christian, And spend a lot of time avoiding that time to Jerusalem with him and the way he gives it to us. What it is to take up my cross, what it is for you to take up your cross is very different, but it’s our willingness.

M: How many times every day, do I have the chance to take up my cross, and I avoid it? I don’t want to do that, and this is exactly what he’s saying. He’s saying, you know, the rulers of the gentiles Lorded over him; it shall not be that way among you. We are doing things differently; whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant. That’s not the way things are done in Jesus time or in ours. That’s a Christian way of doing things and it’s very different from what our world says.

A: To be his follower is to follow him. That’s why penance is so important during Lent. It’s choosing to practice, because we need help. If I want to get better at my golf swing, I have to practice, I have to go out on the driving range and practice, get in a groove. I remember my dad saying all the time, “If you get in a groove, then it’s easy to do it in reality when you need to do it. If we get in a groove during Lent of saying “I want to voluntarily embrace something”, that isn’t something I prefer to do. So to practice sacrificing, to practice being free, then it’s easy for me to, in reality be free and choose the good of another first, to be a servant.

M: I can say “I’m not going to react to every insult; I’m not going react to what I perceive as a snub of sometime”. I’m going to free myself. That’s my goal during Lent perhaps.

A: Imagine, if during Lent I choose to say “every day, in some way, big or small, I am going to serve everyone in my family. I’m going to be servant here”. Or with my friends, or with my neighbors.

M: And the trick would be not to let them realize what we’re doing.

A: To do it willingly and freely and joyfully. Then, I’m practicing. It doesn’t mean I’m good at it on day one, or that it’s easy, but he’s saying “take up my cross”, and I’m practicing taking up my cross. And that’s what makes Lent so much fun too, is this is a way in which I’m helping myself grow. My novice master said to us a long time ago, “you either grow, or you die”. Choosing to grow is the only option that can make us happy and fulfilled.

M: It’s not always the easy way but it is the only way.

A: But the alternative is not to grow, and to be stuck in the patterns we are in now. And although that may be easier, it’s not the path to happiness.

M: On that Wednesday, I just love the way this Jeremiah reading is. It’s foretelling what’s going on. Jeremiah, It’s very moving; he’s talking to God saying he’s being accused unfairly. And so he says that the Priests are saying “let us carefully note his every word”, and it really feels exactly like the tone of the Gospels as it closer and closer to the crucifixion and you feel like the religious leaders are really starting to pick up the place on plotting and trapping him.

A: Exactly. It’s like a symphony, where you start to hear this little theme, the oboes come up a little bit, and you get this theme that gives you a little warning, a little bit of a preview of the main theme of this story, and it’s heavy because it’s going to result in the Jesus death for us. And when I say for me, then it’s not hard to look at. Looking at it helps me grow in gratitude. Then of course on Thursday, another consoling day, as Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday often are, we have the wonderful gospel about a rich man who lives this wonderful life, and a poor man, named Lazarus, who is in front of the guy’s house, and he never takes note of him.

M: It’s such a vivid reading, he would lay out in front of the rich man’s house, begging for scraps from his table, dogs even used to come and lick his sores. I mean it’s very vivid and kind of revolting.

A: So then the poor man Lazarus dies, and the rich man, can, you know of course this is a parable so you can do things in parables, he can look up and see, just see Lazarus there laying in the bosom of Abraham.

M: Why didn’t I know this earlier? Why not send down Lazarus down to give me a little relief, just put his fingertip in water and touch it to my tongue?  

A: Because the rich man finds himself in fire, not in the bosom of Abraham. And so he wants help now, and of course, Abraham tells him, well you know, there’s a chasm between us. You got a different reward. All of your life, you had the blessings of a fine life, now Lazarus who didn’t have anything is here enjoying the reward of this life. It’s this turning the tables again, it’s a remarkable example of it. And so send Lazarus to warn my brothers, so that they won’t mess up their life. No, there’s this big gap, and they have the law and the Prophets that tell them this whole thing. If you really look right, it’s all there. And he says, but if somebody comes from the dead, that’ll sure get their attention. No, if they don’t listen, they won’t be transformed even if someone should rise from the dead.

M:  Because they have put all of their trust into the world. They aren’t trusting, I say they but it’0073 we, we aren’t trusting in God, we are trusting in the world.

A: It’s haunting, because you and I know that somebody did rise from the dead and did warn us about all of these things; warned us about the rewards of a life that’s not for others, and we ignore that warning, so it’s a chilling reminder sitting right here in the second week of Lent. You can imagine catechumens and candidates, in their school, their preparation, catechesis for their journey to the font, being stunned by this reading as well.

M: You know, this is, I think an interesting way to pray with this particular day, is to contemplate “what would I do if I were on my death bed? What would my life be like if I were playing it back? Would I be more like Lazarus or more like the rich man?”. There’s always that exercise you can do; make a list of your top 5 priorities. Write them down, one two three four five, it might be my family, it might be my friends, my work, and then you make a list of where you spend your time. Is it still 1 2 3 4 5?

A: That’s wonderful, that’s revealing.

M: Well it really is, and it helps us set the scene for what this gospel really is about.

A: Nobody wants to say my priority is the things of the world. Nobody wants to say my priority is my own needs. But I can ask myself if that is the way I spend my time, my energy, my choices. It just is so good to reflect on this thing in a way that can help us change those priorities. The first reading is from Jeremiah, and the Lord says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” And he compares them to a bush that’s barren because it’s in the desert, and a tree that’s planted beside water and stretches its roots out toward the water, it’s always alive, it’s always fresh, it’s always renewed, and the assaults of nature don’t affect it because it’s nourished.

M: It’s such a beautiful poetic reading and the exact thing you just talked about, the tree planted besides the water stretching out its roots, it’s echoed in Psalm 1. “He is like a tree planted near running water that yields its fruit in due season”. I think a tree that’s alive and a tree that’s shriveled is often an image used in both Old and New Testaments.

A: More torturous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy. Who can understand it? The Lord alone probes the mind and tests the heart to reward everyone according to his ways; according to the merit of his deeds. This really is a time of discernment, and really an opportunity to grow that we don’t have throughout the year when we’re too busy. This is a focused time when we let God’s grace come into our lives and change it. How many Lents have we had? 20? 30? 50? 70? This is a time to really let God transform our lives. That’s kind of exciting I think.

M: The Friday readings, as Fridays tend to be more penitential during Lent, it’s about suffering and death, and it’s both Friday and Saturday we have stories about family jealousies; about there’s a great:

A: Which themselves are parables about the prediction of the passion. They don’t get it straight on, but he tells the chief priests and the elders of the people, “here’s another parable”, and he tells him the story of a landowner, and he plants a vineyard, puts a hedge around it to protect it, digs a wine press in it, and built a power. So, you know, he leases it to tenants and goes on a journey and when vintage time draws near, he wants to come back and he wants some wine.

M: He wants to collect his rent.

A: He sent his servants to the tenant to obtain his produce. It’s very much like you and me. The Lord has given us life, allowed us to be baptized into Jesus, confirmed that with years of graces, nourished the faith, given us the mission to go out and proclaim the good news, and comes back periodically to find out how we’re doing. That’s the story, of course he’s with us every day, every breath we take, but it’s the story that helps us realize, do we kill his servants?

M: Do we think somebody else has it a lot easier than we do?

A: Ultimately, these landowners kill his own son. Now this is a biting indictment for the leaders of the Jewish people, who killed the prophets, who came to help them with the covenant; and now he sends his own son, and he is rejected by the leaders.

M: And the Pharisees knew this. It even says in the Gospel, “they knew he was speaking about them”, it just adds to the fuel of their anger and fear about Jesus. But it is the son of God who is going to be killed, that’s exactly what this Gospel is about. And in the first reading, we see the story about Joseph, and the coat of many colors, and his brothers are all jealous. And it’s a nice parallel, because Joseph is sold off to the Ishmaelite’s to be a servant, they’re kind of like the Palestinians, they’re a foreign people, and he is betrayed by his own family, his own insiders, just as Jesus will be.

A: And of course we know the rest of that story where Joseph will become a leader in Egypt, and eh will be part of saving his brothers. But Jesus says, “I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a people that will produce its fruit”. That’s all God wants is that we produce fruit, that we become so grateful, that we become people who liberate others, that we become people that announce the good news, and are willing to suffer the rejection of others that don’t want to receive it and accept it. And that’s why strength training is important during Lent, the ability to know what our mission is, know who we are, know what stuff gets in our way, know the freedoms and resistance, and really develop strength to be disciples.

M: Suffering and death are a part of our lives. But using the Christian context for it gives it a meaning; it gives us a support for it too. It brings us closer to the sufferings of Jesus, it brings us closer to the people who suffer so much; Jesus doesn’t talk about the suffering of the rich, he talks about the suffering of the poor and the outcast.

A: We’re getting the best of readings that are prepared for the catechumens and candidates. On Saturday the Gospel we have is one of the great Gospels in Luke chapter 15. Jesus is eating with tax collectors and sinners, and of course they are gathered around him; he is their savior, he is offering them forgiveness, and it’s the Pharisees and Scribes that are complaining of what he is doing. So he tells them really three parables. This is the third one; the first one is the story about the lost sheep: I’ve got a hundred sheep and one of them goes, wouldn’t he leave the                                                       99 and go out and find it, and when he finds it wouldn’t he call everyone together and celebrate, you know, “my sheep is back!”.

M: Or the woman with the gold coin.

A: She loses a coin in her house.

M: Isn’t she going to sweep the whole house just to find that one coin?

A: And when she finds it?

M: She’s going to celebrate.

A: Exactly. Well this is a story about a father who has two sons, and neither or them are very nice kids.

M: Haha that’s an interesting way to put it, but it’s true.

A: The younger son, basically, has become selfish beyond belief. Imagine saying to a father, “I want my inheritance now, I can’t wait until you’re dead. Give me half of what you own now, because I want it”. And this loving father does it. He gives him half of the inheritance. Imagine losing a son that way? It is as though he died.

M: And then he leaves, he’s gone; he is no longer a part of that man’s life, he just leaves.

A: He squanders it on loose living, and now he’s broke, saying he’s sorry, he feels bad.

M: He’s working on a farm living with pigs, which for the Jewish community, would be so revolting.

A: He’s hit bottom, and he says “Wow. I’d do better being one of my father’s servants. They’re eating better than I am now. So I’ll go back and I’ll say I’m sorry and I’ll beg to have a place back in my father’s house”. And so he goes there, and as he gets close, his father is looking for his return. It’s a powerful image of God’s love for us. God is looking or our return during this Lent, whatever we’ve squandered, whatever we’ve taken for granted, however we’ve found ourselves living, he’s looking for us to return. Now the Scribes and Pharisees are listening to this story. And I’d imagine the prostitutes, former prostitutes and tax collectors, other sinners, are sitting at the table smiling like you wouldn’t believe because he’s talking about them. Here’s the return, the celebration. Because they’re sitting there with the Pharisees and Scribes saying that they’re not worth Jesus’s attention.

M: Why would you bother with these people? They’re sinners, they’re tax collectors, they’re prostitutes.

A: And he’s defending why it’s worth being with them, because God loves them.

M: And we get to the next part of the story which is much more directly aimed at the Scribes and Pharisees.

A: Because the Father puts on a big celebration, “put a robe on him; give him a ring”.

M: “You’re not a servant, you are my son”.

A: “And go kill the fatted calf”. Wow. We got a calf that they’ve been feeding and feeding and feeding to have a feast, and here it is. Well, they go in to start partying because the son is back, the one that was lost has been found, and the partying begins. But the older son, he’s kind of a bad kid too, he won’t come in to celebrate, complaining that “I’ve worked hard all along”, this is that self-righteousness, “I worked hard all along and you didn’t have a party for me and my friends”, he says “son, you’re always with me. Everything I have is yours”. He’s going to get everything that the father has left in the inheritance. This son of yours has been lost and has been found, come in and celebrate. And I can imagine Jesus telling this story and looking at the Scribes and Pharisees who won’t come into the house and celebrate that these sinners have been renewed and loved and saved.

M: Even the tone, “the Pharisees and Scribes began to complain”, you can almost hear them whining about it, and it’s the exact same tone as the older brother, “well what’s going on, well why?”.

A: So when you and I are tempted to judge, to discount, to be almost self-righteous, this is a wonderful parable to remember. And when we’ve got people in our family, our relatives, our neighbors and friends, who need reconciliation, this Gospel can help us fast from the remaining desire to punish them, the remaining desire to keep them away, because God forgives them, we can forgive them, and celebrate that forgiveness. It takes a lot of purification to get here.

M: And I think we can also sometimes get stuck with the sense of our own unworthiness, I’ll never be able to stop that pattern, I’m a worthless person, I can’t be forgiven, and I think right here, we can picture the father out on the road, with his hands cupped over his eyes, staring down the road, waiting for us to come up. He’s been waiting and waiting for us and is just standing there with open arms, waiting for us to take the first step towards him, because that’s all that it takes is for us to take the step towards the father.

A: Whatever our brand of sinfulness is, whether it’s squandering our gifts, rejecting God’s love in some way, rejecting our mission to love the way he’s loved us, this is a week in which we can let ourselves feel the love of that Father, and the encouragement of the Lord, who is transfigured to show us that it’s all about a different kind of glory, and it’s a promise that we can be with him in it. So, this is a great week to renew our patterns, to think about the ways we can pull this together in the second week, and prepare for the wonderful weeks again.

M: And how we can begin and renew our Lent again, starting today. Thank you for joining us.       

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