You are to be a people peculiarly His own
Day 11: Saturday of the First Week of Lent – Deuteronomy 26:18
And today the Lord is making this agreement with you: you are to be a people peculiarly His own, as He promised you.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
Today’s reading takes us into the heart of the Gospel, to the tough stuff that we sometimes don’t like to face: loving our enemies, being kind to those who hurt us, keeping commandments that challenge us, etc. Even when we don’t live up to God’s ideal, we are still called the beloved. We are “peculiarly” God’s own. What a wonderful word to describe this connection we have with our Divine Creator. God loves each one of us unconditionally as we are, for who we are. That is certainly peculiar by our world’s standards. God claims us, draws us near, walks with us, and never gives up on us, even if we give up on ourselves. But God never stops pushing us either, calling us to go deeper in our faith, to open up farther, to love even when we find ourselves in the most unlovable situations.
“Heart! Mind! Soul! Strength! We are to love God with our entire being. All of it!” writes Macrina Wiederkehr in her book of reflections The Flowing Grace of Now, noting that it is the word “all” that is most frightening to us. “Love is to be lived out even in the hardest of times,” she writes. “Love is a treasure. It is the diamond for which we are searching.” Love is certainly a treasure … and God is love. He loves each one of us with an unfathomable agape love. And because we have so freely received from Him, we too are called to love.
Day 11 Lenten Meditation
We spend most of our lives searching — searching for the right job and career, for the right spouse, the right house, etc. Those are the more obvious things. But often those exterior wants and needs are mirrored by an interior search for who we are, who we want to be, who we are meant to be and, how to find God in the process. It is when we stop frantically searching, resting instead in God’s love, that what we’ve been searching for finds us. Little by little, as we give up control and surrender to the will (love!) of God, what we’ve been searching for suddenly comes to us. In the end, it is always love that leads the way forward — love always wins. We just have to be willing to embrace it. To let down our guard and open our hearts to the love of God.
God of all-encompassing and unconditional love, we know Your way is the only way to true happiness. Lead us in right paths so that we may be a mirror of your light and love to the world. Oh merciful Father, teach us to be perfectly merciful, to forgive others again and again, because You have first forgiven us. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
*Do something kind for someone who does not like you
“One must see God in everyone” –Saint Catherine Laboure.