Unless we come to Him for life we cannot truly move forward. We are not truly living …
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent – Exodus 32
“Let Your blazing wrath die down [God]; relent in punishing Your people” -Exodus 32:12.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
In today’s reading, God’s patience was put to the test. If it were not for Moses pleading with Him to hold back His chastisements from the people who knows if any of us would be here today. God was ready to smite the whole lot of them for breaking the first commandment and idolizing man-made idols. Somehow Moses conjured enough courage to offer a persuasive and defensive argument to God. His faith and bravery was rewarded, and Moses ended up changing the course of history forever.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus admonishes the people of His day for following in their forebears disobedient and faithless footsteps. The people of that time were putting their trust in false gods rather than in God Himself. In light of this, Jesus reminded them, just as He is reminding us today, that merely hearing or reading the Word of God is not enough. If man truly wants to live, he must act through obedience by becoming perfect as his [man’s] Heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). In other words, the faithful must obey the Word of God and strive to become virtuous, turning away from sin and becoming holy men and women of God.
It is one thing to know the Word of Jesus. It is quite another to pick up the cross and follow Him (Matt 16:24; 19:21). If we do not act on the Gospel message, obeying the Commands of Christ and amending our lives then, as Jesus said, we are not truly living the Gospel Message and therefore have no life (Luke 9:24). We become nothing but noisy gongs, being sayers of the Word only, not doers of it. “So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).
Fourth Week Lenten Meditation
Think of your spiritual life today. Is God and His Commands a top priority? Are you following His will? We are commanded by Jesus to pick up our cross and follow Him. We were never told to merely listen to His message and then continue on doing whatever we wish. To the contrary, Jesus said that “Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).
Following Jesus Christ is not easy. Rather than an easy path, we were promised a narrow and arduous one. But we were also promised that if we did as commanded, if we picked up our cross and followed Him, that He would be with us every step of the way and we would truly have life within us. The one who persevered on this path until the very end would then inherit eternal paradise (Matthew 24:13).
Additional Readings Today
John 5:31-47; Exod. 32:7-14
Jesus, we hear Your Words and believe Your promises. Today we ask for the grace of courage like Moses, to put our fears aside, pick up our cross, and follow You in word, thought, and deed. We know that by seeking You and carrying out Your will is the only way to true peace and happiness. So, loving and patient Father, we surrender all of our thoughts, words, and actions to You this day. Work in and through us to bear witness to Your Gospel Message by obeying your commands so that we may truly bring Christ’s presence into the hearts of others. We pray this in Your good and holy Name. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
Send a handwritten Thank You note to someone of whom you owe a debt of gratitude.
“I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God” –Saint Dominic Savio.
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