for Sunday, March 21, 2010
The Prophet Isaiah tells us today that our God is doing something new. We
see what is new in the second reading and in the Gospel. Lent is a
wonderful time to remember that God is doing something new - and inviting us
to share in His life.
Saint Paul tells us in the letter to the Philippians today that, for
Christ's sake, he has accepted the loss of all things and considers them so
much rubbish in order to gain Christ and be found in him without any
righteousness of his own. This begins to describe what is new: gaining
Christ and being found in Christ. The goal is resurrection in Jesus
Christ and living with him forever.
Saint Paul is very clear that this goal of resurrection has not yet been
achieved. He tells us that he strains forward toward the goal.
What about us who follow Jesus as our Lord today? Do we have any sense of
urgency left in us? Do we see resurrection in the Lord Jesus as a goal,
something to work towards in our daily lives? Can we see ourselves every
day striving for this goal in Jesus Christ? Lent is a time of renewing the
focus and aim of our lives.
The Gospel shows us one example of what new creation and living in the
Lord Jesus means: forgiveness. We can always hear the admonition of Jesus
echoing in our souls: neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do
not sin any more!
What God is doing for us in Christ Jesus is giving us a power of the Holy
Spirit to be able to live without sin. That power of the Holy Spirit is
not always immediately apparent and there are times when we are not
faithful to that power. So Jesus also forgives us our sins. In the early
Church there was a sense that a Christian could only go to confession once
in a life-time. That was party of the reason that many people did not
confess their sins. As the whole understanding of forgiveness developed
over the centuries, the Church came to understand that those who follow
Christ can always confess their sins. They will always hear from Christ
the same words: Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on sin no
As we grow in our following of the Lord Jesus, we come to accept that we
do fail and that we need to confess our sins and receive the forgiveness of
Christ over and over and over in order to continue the struggle against sin
in our lives.
May this Lent make us deeply aware of God's love and God's forgiveness for
us in such a way that we can receive His sacraments with joy and gladness
and trust completely in His love and forgiveness.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: