Tuesday, February 24, 2015

They Turned

Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.  Jonah 3:10

While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.”  Luke 11:29

Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.  Amen.

Lent is Life to us.  You may think this season is forty days of preparation for the paschal mystery of Easter.  But when you really consider the themes of Lent, they are really no different than the themes of Advent.  Or Christmas. Or ordinary time. Or Easter.

Life is Lent to us.  The price we are asked to pay is not in coinage.  It is not in shares of stock.  It is not in material possessions.  The price we are asked to pay is the experience of change.  “Man…must turn from their evil way and from the violence of their hands.”  (Jonah 3:8)

Society tells us where it WANTS us to look for happiness.  Just as the people of Ninevah looked in all the wrong places, we do, too.  The price we must pay for the rental is change.  Just as the Jonah pleaded with the people of Ninevah to change, so does Jesus please with the people of Galilee to change.  And that same message comes down through the ages to help each one of us.

What are some of the changes you have the courage to make?
        How you spend your time?
        How you spend your treasure?
        Where you put your talents to work?

Life is Lent to us for only a short period of time.  This week, I was called on to do one of the spiritual works of mercy – to help bury the dead.  In this case, the person who was deceased was my brother Joseph whose body was weakened by diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure.  Joe lived a life marked by great humor, a caring heart that helped others in his profession and in his personal life, and tremendous hospitality.  You can read more about his life here.

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