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A Very Big Clue.

Lenten meditations on justice and peace

Thursday, April 2

Readings: Genesis 7:3-9 -- Psalm 105 -- John 8:511-59

Memo to the world: Jesus is God.

The assertion of what seemed to be blasphemy caused his hearers to reach for stones, but the moment passed and Jesus was gone. But it's a fact. Jesus is not just some nice pious rabbi who got in trouble for questioning authority at the wrong time and place. Nor is he some eternal ethereal archetype of prophetic witness and murderous society. And he is certainly not the Easter Bunny.

He is I Am. Before Abraham existed was the Word, God, Trinity in Unity, the Alpha and the Omega.

His words to us are thus more than pious platitudes. And when he says -- feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless and etc., we'd best listen. It's not optional. It is a description of the actual behavior that flows from conversion in Christ Jesus. We've heard a lot this Lent about turning from old and bad ways of life to new lives of conversion and hope. This has concrete visible results for the way we live, what we do, and how we do it. When we cry out against injustice, we follow His most holy example. When we call those who exercise authority in an unjust way to repentance, we are doing the work of Christ. When we feed the hungry and clothe the naked, we obey some of His most explicit commands.

And who is it that gives us these commands? God.

When we turn our back on the poor, when we tell lies about them, when we steal from them, when we exercise our authority unjustly, we are disobedient to Christ. We insult his sacrifice. We spit on his Cross.

And to whom do we offer these insults? God

From Adam and Eve to Abraham and Sarah, right down through history to Mary and Joseph and into the present era, there is an unbroken line of covenant and promise and conversion. Even in light of all of the history of the human race, from those very first parents until today, God remains patient with us, even as we have no patience with each other. In his patience is love, concern, and solidarity, which call us to a response of love, commitment, faith, solidarity and obedience.

After ending this discourse, in John 9 Jesus goes and cures a man who was born blind. He spits on the ground, makes a paste with the clay, smears it on the man's eyes and tells him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. "So he went and washed, and came back able to see." To understand the truth of the words of today's Gospel, it is necessary that we wash the mud from our eyes, so like the man born blind, we too can see.

Prayer intentions today:

+ For an increase in faith in Jesus as God, Lord, and Creator of the Universe -- we pray to the Lord.

+ For absolute and total trust in Jesus as God, Lord, and Creator of the Universe, and in His providence for all people, we pray to the Lord.

Praxis today:

+ Share your faith with another person. If necessary, use words. (I believe this advice is courtesy of St. Francis of Assissi.)

+ Think about the behaviors that flow from conversion in Christ Jesus. Begin a time of discernment to seek understanding regarding how your behavior can change through such conversion. Consult the lists you have made earlier during Lent for insights.

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