You are invited to take a deeper look at the lessons from the liturgy of the day, on Sundays and Holy Days in Lent. Clergy and lay leaders have prepared this resource especially for you as a gift from the Center for Spirituality at Christ Church. The brief reflections include links to the reading for the day, and questions for you to consider.
For Ash Wednesday
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. Since the very beginning of Lent everything points to Easter to the new and unending life that God has given us in Christ’s Resurrection. This passage of Isaiah is an invitation to all of us to take responsibility in making possible and anticipating that perfect life that God wants not only for you or me, but for each one of His children.
In what way am I helping to loose the bonds of injustice, to break every yoke? In what way am I feeling called to share what I’ve been given with those less fortunate than I? Have you experienced that light breaking forth like a dawn when you’ve been helped and given the grace and love that we are called to show in this passage? Isn’t that the light you want to reflect?
“For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust”. To begin Lent with this reminder is of supreme importance, because we so easily forget our nothingness and what we are made of. This reminder sends us back to our origins in God’s creation and at the same time it makes us face our human mortality. Have you thought how great it is to know that we are made of dust and God’s love? To think about it should help us all to be humbler, kindler, and more grateful. It is God’s love that gives sense our nothingness. As you read this Psalm, I invite you to think of who you are, who God is and how important it is to allow God’s love to give sense to our human existence.
Do you feel that reflecting on the first reading and the Psalm for today helped you prepare for such an important Lenten topic as reconciliation? Does the reality of our frailty and the grace of God shown on the first two readings help you better understand Paul’s call for reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5:20-61:10?
Matthew 6, especially verses 19-21 give us a great way to conclude our reflection on the value of temporary vs eternal things. It also invites us to use our wealth and goods to loose the bonds of injustice. God will ask us how much we did with what we had in this temporary life. Think about how you would like people to remember you when return to dust, when all the eagerness of this world passes. Think about all the good you still can accomplish with what God has place in your hands, and pray about it.