Thursday - March 26
Today’s readings provide an appropriate reflection as the Covid-19 pandemic brings changes to our “normal” life and new challenges in our daily activities. In both readings, we see how people have lost their focus on the true God in a time of change in their world.
In our first reading, the Israelites, unhappy with the circumstances of their exile, make their material possessions their god, as a way to end their suffering. This story symbolizes the rejection of the spiritual life for the short term pleasures of the material life. God is ready to enter a just verdict, and eliminate them as the chosen ones. But we also see the mercy of God, as Moses intercedes on their behalf, and the Lord gives the people another chance.
In the Gospel, Jesus renders harsh judgment on the Pharisees. The Pharisees are so self-absorbed, concerned with preserving their own power and dignity, that they are spiritually blind and cannot see the God in their midst. They reject Jesus, failing to recognize Him as the Messiah in the testimony of John the Baptist, or by the miracles he performed, or even in their own Scripture, the Torah, which points to him as the Messiah.
What do these readings teach us? When our life in this world is disrupted, we must continue to believe that God is present, always with us. For our daily guidance and instruction, the Father gave us Jesus, the Word made Flesh, who became one of us to save us, and also to show us how to live. Now, during Lent, this is the time to turn to Jesus and look to Him for hope and direction in our lives.
The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to change our daily routines. But despite the adjustments we’ve had to make, if we choose to spend time with God’s Word, we will find an inner calm in the middle of the external storms that surround us. Let’s use our current situation to renew ourselves this Lent, to turn back to Jesus and say, “Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.”
Question for Reflection:
How can I better be a student of God's Word and listen to it with faith and obedience?