• David Knight

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.”

Please view daily readings here

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.”

Please view daily readings here

Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 22:1–18; Psalm 116; Romans 8:31–34; Mark 9:2-10

The Father Outloves Us

He who did not spare his own Son… how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Romans 8:32

We all sympathize with Abraham, commanded to sacrifice his only son. We are glad he didn’t have to. But God the Father did not spare himself; he actually did sacrifice his only Son.

He did it for us. How much love does that show? The Father outloves us—by a score of infinite to one!

Paul asks, “If God handed over his own Son for us, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?”

We might answer, “He already has.”

We can begin to count our blessings, but we will never finish. How many different kinds of flowers and foods, birds and animals, mountains and valleys, planets and stars? How much to explore in the past, present, and future? In people and their products? Art and science, civilizations and cultures? Technology?

That’s only the created world. Add the mystery of grace: divine Life, Truth, and Goodness. The Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit. Knowing the Father, Son, and Spirit. “Being Christ.” Our baptismal anointing as prophets, priests and stewards of Christ’s kingship. Eternal life. Mary. The Scriptures. The Saints. The sacraments.

All because, for us, the Father “did not spare his own Son”

Our Father loves us beyond “all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

ACTION: Keep score for one day: what you do for God and God for you.

PRAYER: “Father, thank you.”

View Today's Readings Here

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