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  • David Knight

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent


Jeremiah 18:18-2; Psalm 31; Matthew 20:17-28

A Father Who Defends Me

Lord, listen to what my adversaries say. Jeremiah 18:19


As children, we ran to our fathers when anyone attacked us, physically or verbally. They couldn’t always stop people from talking bad about us, but they gave us confidence in ourselves, taught us how to deal with it.


Our Father in heaven does that for us still. He did it for Jesus.


Jesus applied to himself what he said to his disciples about the request they made: “This is not mine to give. It is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When his people were rejecting him, refusing him the title of Messiah, Jesus went to the Father, but accepting ahead of time that whatever the Father wanted was all that mattered. That gave Jesus confidence and strength.


“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (John 12:27).


Psalm 31 teaches us to go to the Father with confidence: “You will free me from the snare they set for me, for you are my refuge…You are my God. In your hands is my destiny.”


Jesus’s Father is our Father. He does for us what he did for Jesus. We rely on him for all glory, power, and for life itself (John 8:54; 10:18).



ACTION: Whenever you are upset, go to the Father.


PRAYER: “Father, help me.”





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Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent


Isaiah 1:10-20; Psalm 50; Matthew 23:1-12


A Father Who Dialogues


Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord… Isaiah 1:18


Our Father is not a God who simply lives in the remoteness of his infinite Truth, leaving us to obey him blindly. No, he gets “down and dirty” with us in dialogue. He confronts us in the concrete details of our life, tells us what he thinks of them, and what we can expect of him.


In today’s readings he pulls no punches. He gets explicit about false religion, especially that of the scribes and Pharisees. But at the same time he tells us through Isaiah: “Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow.” With Jesus, and with our Father, we know where we stand, where he stands, and how to bridge any gap between us. Our Father is down on ground level with us. His arms are always open. We simply have to deal with him as a person.


But he will not accept us unless we also deal with others as persons. He insists: “Stop mouthing my rules and professing your faith in rote phrases. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow. The greatest among you must be your servant. Show it in action.”



ACTION: Get real. In Confession, talk about how you live out Christ’s New Law. (See the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew, chapters 5-7).


PRAYER: “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.”




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  • David Knight

Monday of the Second Week in Lent


Daniel 9:4-10; Psalm 79; Luke 6:36-38


Our Father By Covenant

God, you who keep your merciful covenant… Daniel 9:4


Edmund Burke defined society as “a covenant between the great dead, the now living, and the yet unborn” (Reflections on the Revolution in France). The Church is this. We have a commitment, not only to God, but to Christians past, present, and future. We call it the “communion of saints.”


The Covenant is founded on the fidelity of God—who defines himself as “steadfast love” (Exodus 34:6; John 1:14, 17). For us to live in conscious faith-full-ness to the Covenant is a “fruit of the Holy Spirit” (Galatians 5:22).


The powerful don’t have to negotiate; they dictate. But our all-powerful God has entered into a covenant with us: “You will be my people, and I will be your God” (Exodus 4; Deuteronomy 7:6ff.; Jeremiah 11:2).


And not just our God: our Father.


Our Covenant with God and each other is more than an agreement. It is a reality of our being. Like the bond between parents and children, it is inscribed in our flesh and blood. Because through Baptism we died and rose in Christ, we are bonded to our Father by the gift of his own divine life within us. Bonded by blood.


Jesus said at the Last Supper, “This cup poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20).


ACTION: Obey God as Father in conscious fidelity to the Covenant.


PRAYER: Absorb reflectively at Mass: “This is my blood, of the new and eternal Covenant, poured out for you.”




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