The apostles entered very exciting and chaotic times after the death of Jesus. The risen Jesus breathed new life into their mission, and they found in themselves astonishing strength and power and a sprinkle of doubt.
The Inner Word
Today we begin our journey in discovering who Jesus truly is.
Confidence radiates from the texts we read today. Isaiah has set his face like flint, knowing that he will not be put to shame. Paul tells us that Jesus emptied himself to the point of death on a cross only to be exalted to the glory of God.
The readings today take us into the realm of the impossible. Yahweh put water in the desert—impossible; Saint Paul tells us we will attain Resurrection from the dead—impossible; the adulterous woman is condemned by no one—impossible.
God keeps all promises even when we don’t, and God is forever willing to be reconciled with us. God promises to provide for us, to feed us, to love us. All we need to do is trust in God.
God tells Moses: “I am who am”—I AM, for short. God needs no point of reference, no proof. God is. We either accept it or we don’t.
Today’s readings take us into the realm of signs, symbols, promise, and revelation. Take a moment to think about the strongest sign of God’s presence in your life and the greatest symbol of your faith.
How is the season of Lent different from other seasons? This is the season in which we tend to the spiritual tasks of penance, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in order to deepen our experience of God’s presence and strengthen our faith.
It’s hard to wiggle out of this clear-cut directive of Jesus. “Do good to those who hate you.” And it’s hard to live up to it. The question is, “Where am I going to dwell, in the land of death, or in the land of life?”
Blessedness is not conditional. It’s always available. Blessedness comes not through success in the eyes of the world but from being connected to the true God—“Like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream.”