[God] reminds them — and us — that we can read Scripture and seek truth but unless we come to Him for life, we cannot truly move forward. We are not truly living.
Day 30: Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent – Exodus 32:12
Let Your blazing wrath die down [God]; relent in punishing Your people.
Additional Reading(s) today: John 5:31-47; Exod. 32:7-14
Today’s Lenten Reflection
God’s patience is being put to the test in today’s readings. If not for Moses in our first reading, who knows if we would even be here to tell the tale. God was ready to smite the whole lot of them in the face of the golden calf issue (false idols). But thankfully Moses offered a dazzling and brave argument that changed the course of history. Now in today’s Gospel, Jesus takes a page from His Father’s book and admonishes the people for following in the footsteps of their forebears in terms of their disbelief, faithlessness, and for putting their trust in man-made things rather than God. He reminds them — and us — that we can read Scripture and seek truth all we want but unless we come to Him for life, we cannot truly move forward. We are not truly living (Luke 9:24). What is it that causes us humans to look for ulterior spiritual pastures when life gets difficult or our prayers aren’t answered fast enough or to our liking? Usually it is rooted in fear, frustration, despair, arrogance, ignorance or spiritual blindness. Famed theologian Henri Nouwen wrote, “The tragedy is that we are so possessed by fear that we do not trust our innermost self [the Holy Spirit] as an intimate place but anxiously wander around hoping to find it where we are not. We try to find that intimate place in [worldly] knowledge, competence, notoriety, success, friends, sensations, pleasure, dreams, or artificially-induced states of consciousness,” he writes, rattling off a list of modern-day golden calves. “Thus, we become strangers to ourselves, people who have an address but are never really home and hence can never be addressed by the true Voice of love.”
Day 30 Lenten Meditation
Think of a time when you started losing faith. Maybe it was after a loved one died or after the loss of a job or home. Maybe it was a period of spiritual dryness that left you feeling abandoned by God. Look back and see the times when you had pushed God away. Is there a pattern? What will happen the “next time”? Would you push Him away again? Maybe you’ve heard the spiritual adage that today’s life lessons will continue to repeat themselves until we finally learn them. What lesson do you need to learn once and for all? Trust God to teach you. When He corrects you, learn and obey right away.
Dear Jesus, we hear Your words, we believe Your promises. We pray for the trust needed to put fears aside and stay strong, seeking You out in prayer and accepting Your answer as the only way to true happiness and peace. Loving and patient Father, we give You all of our actions this day. Work in us and through us to bear witness to Your Son, Jesus, so that we may bring His presence to the hearts of others. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
*Send a Thank You note to someone to 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.