You are to be a people peculiarly His own.
Day Ten of Lent: Saturday of the First Week of Lent – Deuteronomy 26
And today the Lord is making this agreement with you: you are to be a people peculiarly His own, as He promised you – Deut 26:18.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
Today’s reading takes us into the heart of the Gospel – into the tough stuff we often try to avoid such as loving our enemies, being kind to those who hurt and persecute us, keeping the Commandments that challenge every ounce of our human fabric, etc. But here is the great news – even when we fall, and we will, we are still called the beloved of God – “peculiarly His own.” What a wonderful way to describe this incredible union we share with our Divine Creator, He who is love personified.
God loves each one of us unconditionally. This fact is certainly peculiar by this world’s standards. But thank goodness God is nothing like the world which is why He tells us to follow Him and not the world. By His grace, God has claimed us from the beginning and all throughout our lifetime He walks with us, nudging us to draw near Him, protects us and never gives up on us … even when we have given up on ourselves. With that being stated however, God never stops pushing us to grow – in our faith and in holiness, to move from glory to glory, to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48). And like Him, we are to love unconditionally even when we find ourselves in the most unlovable of 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. She notes that it is the word “all” that is most frightening to us. To love God with our entire being is to love Him so much that we are willing to risk everything to carry out His will. “Love is to be lived out even in the hardest of times,” she writes, “[but] love is a treasure … the diamond for which we are searching.” Love is a treasure indeed because God is love. And because He loves us with an unfathomable agape love, we are called to love Him (and His children, our neighbors) with a kind of love pleasing to Him in return.
Day 10 Lenten Meditation
We spend most of our lives searching. We search for the right job, vocation, spouse, house, car, etc. While those are the more obvious things, these exterior wants are often motivated by an interior search for who we are, want to be, and are meant to be. But as Saint Augustine said best, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” Amen! Our heart is indeed restless until it rests in God. When we stop frantically searching in the world and rest in God’s love instead, we will find everything we need and are looking for. Ultimately, it is love of God and of neighbor that will lead the way forward. Love always wins.
God of all-encompassing and unconditional love, open our hearts to love You with all our heart, mind and soul. You are the only way, Lord, Your will being the true pathway to happiness. Please continue to guide us so that we may mirror Your light and love into a darkened world. Oh merciful Father, teach us to be perfect as You are perfect. Help us to be perfectly merciful, forgiving and loving others just as You have done for us. We pray this all in Your good and holy Name, Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
Do something kind for someone who is not so kind to you.
“One must see God in everyone” –Saint Catherine Laboure.
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