Death hangs over every human life. Yet each of today’s readings is a reminder of how God preserves life and continues it for the sake of fulfilling the divine promise.
The Inner Word
Lent begins with readings about beginnings, each one reminding us about how life’s journey starts off with a covenant.
Saint Paul says the key to his ministry is acting not for his own benefit but for that of many.
Job moans about the repetitious pointlessness of life. Saint Paul and Jesus, in their preaching and teaching, show quite the contrary. Both are compelled to proclaim the abundant life that God intends for us.
Jesus taught "as one with authority." His words as well as his actions amazed those around him; in fact, in today's gospel story, it is his words that do the healing.
In the Ninevites and the apostles Simon, James, and John, scripture today has examples of immediate repentance and turning to follow God. Make a brief examination of conscience and identify what you need to repent.
There are all kinds of calls going on in the readings today—and all kinds of people who respond in different ways. Sometimes people are being called clearly, sometimes not-so-clearly.
We all like to be told, “Good job.” It’s even better to be told, “You’re a really great person.” Deep in our hearts, we all long to hear the words that Jesus heard as he broke through the waters of the Jordan at his Baptism: “You are my beloved child of whom I am well pleased.”
The Epiphany is about the divine mysteries becoming known.
I once heard a family therapist say, “It is important for every family to get its saints out of heaven and its sinners out of hell.” The point is that it doesn’t pay to either idealize or demonize our families (or fellow family members).