Home Index ... Lent Entrance Page ... Lenten Meditation Index

I have witnessed the affliction of my people.

Lenten meditations on justice and peace

March 15, Third Sunday of Lent

Readings: Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; Psalm 103; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9

Take heed lest your fall, writes Paul to the Church in the cosmopolitan city of Corinth. What is all this grumbling? Haven't you read your Torah? God gave you a whole bunch of clues via the Exodus liberation narratives. Isn't anybody listening? Remember what happened when Israel broke the covenant?

Because of his Covenant, God hears the cry of the afflicted, and raises up a prophet to deliver the children of Abraham and Sarah. That doesn't mean the afflicted are always grateful, or that they can always remember what God has done for them. The day to day life of a sojourn in the wilderness brought many daily burdens that must have seemed as onerous as the ones they had left behind in Egypt.

Jesus himself is presenting rather stark warnings regarding the need for repentance of sins and reformation of ways and manners of living. He uses major tragedies of the era to describe the importance of his message. And he tells a parable about an unfruitful fig tree, to whom a measure of time is given to bring forth fruit.

God hears the cry of the afflicted, even if the afflicted are unsure of the salvation that is needed. God raises up prophets to speak truth to power and bring liberation to the captives. The record of the history of God's interactions with humanity is clear: obedience to covenant brings life, disobedience brings death. A thousand "Murrah Federal Building" disasters can happen (speaking metaphorically), if we do not hear the message of Jesus, repent of our sins, and reform our ways and manners of living.

As always, we hear these words of God in the context of a series of readings, in which God's concern for justice and peace among all human beings is without ambiguity. What ways and manners of living do we need to reform?

Today the Church remembers the great St. Louise Marillac, well-educated scion of the upper class, foundress of the Daughters of Charity, an uncloistered order, who tirelessly worked to help the poor and working classes with the works of justice and mercy.

Prayer intentions today:

+ For all in need of liberation and salvation, that they will recognize and hear the prophets God is sending them to lead them out of slavery and into freedom, we pray to the Lord.

+ For all prophets of justice and peace, that they will consistently and effectively speak truth to power.

Praxis today:

+ Attend mass and receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in thanksgiving and peace.

+ Gather the things you are giving to the poor and get them ready for donation.

Home Index ... Lent Entrance Page ... Lenten Meditation Index