for Sunday, March 7, 2010
Today's readings give us a bush that burns but is not burned up or consumed
and a healthy fig tree that did not give any fruit. Much of our Scripture
is given to us in symbols, parables and signs. The Old and the New
Testaments are not High School or College textbooks that can be learned and
followed like some kind of policy. Rather, they are the word of God
teaching us Who He Is and who we are and we can truly live. Some of the
teaching from our Scriptures are truly great stories that teach us how to
know the Lord.
Just imagine for a moment that you were out hiking somewhere and saw some
kind of shrub or bush that was burning. Many people today are very much
aware of the problems of forest fires in the wilderness and forests. We
would probably go over and look, just as Moses did. If we saw something
that was burning but not burned up, we would be amazed. We would need a
voice like God's to tell us what was happening! Of course, if we already
knew the story of the burning bush, we might begin to get nervous about the
presence of God.
Some of our ancestors in the faith seem to take it for granted that God
will speak to them, even if they never see His face directly. Are we more
comfortable having only the Word of God and the Sacraments rather than
having God suddenly appear in front of us? We could wonder what God might
say to us today if He were to appear right now? What are the injustices of
our world? Who are the downtrodden? Who are those in need of salvation?
If Christ were walking on the earth today, with whom would he associate?
These are wonderful questions to ponder during Lent. Sometimes we begin
to think that we are automatically saved because we say that we believe.
The whole point of today's Gospel is that we must produce good works, that
our lives must radiate the presence and love of God in our actions. It is
always important to remember that our faith must produce actions in our
lives that are of the Lord. The Scriptures tell us that faith without
actions is dead faith.
The Second Letter to the Corinthians, in the passage we read today, gives
us this same message: whoever thinks that he is standing secure should
take care not to fall. This kind of teaching is not to give us scruples so
that we are afraid to live. Rather it is meant to challenge us to live
with energy and delight in the way of the Lord. Lent is a time of removing
the daily grime of our human existence, according to Saint Leo, but it is
also a time of renewing our inner desire for God.
May this Lent be a turning point in our lives so that we begin to choose
more and more consistently for the Lord and His will - and less and less for
the illusions of this world.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: