Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to re-discover all the gifts you have given me and help me to use them to bear fruit.
- Re-Discovering the Familiar: We all know the saying, “familiarity breeds contempt.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ contemporaries were in that situation regarding Jesus himself. He had already worked miracles, and his preaching and holiness of life were totally exceptional. Yet, some people were not satisfied, and Jesus rebukes them for seeking more signs. It’s all too easy for us to fall into this same attitude with our faith. Instead of appreciating the riches conserved in the tradition of the Church, many still look for extraordinary signs. The Beatitudes, or the Gospel accounts of Jesus raising people from the dead might seem boring, but private revelations and possible apparitions capture our imagination. Lent is a good time to go back to the basics, and re-encounter Our Lord in the Scripture and in the Mass, as if for the first time.
- The “Sign of Jonah” Is a Sign for Me: Despite his harsh tone in the Gospel, Jesus actually does promise to give them a sign – “the sign of Jonah.” By this he means his death and resurrection, as he explains in the Gospel according to Matthew (12:40). There could, in fact, be no greater sign than this and the celebration of the Pascal Mystery is the true climax to which the period of Lent is directed. The penitential character of these forty days can seem to belie their true meaning as a season of hope. Really, we’re purifying ourselves to participate in the death and resurrection of Christ!
- Sharing Our Blessings: Jesus says to his listeners that they will be judged because they are not appreciating the gift they have before their eyes. It’s an invitation for us not only to appreciate all that we have received in the Church, but also to share it with others. The truths of our faith, which we commemorate and re-live in Lent and Easter, are not intended for us alone but for all humanity. Whether or not that message gets out depends on each one of us. What are we doing to share the true meaning of Lent and Easter with those around us?
Resolution: Today I will focus on what I am doing when I pray, read the Scripture, or participate in the liturgy. I will raise my level of awareness as if I were doing it for the first time.