Not many people like prophets. Why? They say it like it is. They disrupt. They shake things up and call you out. Even worse, they put a name to our personal sins and shortcomings, and challenge us to take a deep look inside our hearts so we can change it.
In the Gospel it’s clear that the Israelites were angry because they thought Jesus would bring an easier message. But Jesus challenges His people to look deep inside themselves to figure out what is “enslaving” and “blinding” them. This is why Jesus talks about the widow from Zarephath (mentioned in the gospel) and Naaman the Syrian (mentioned in the 1st reading and the Gospel). Both were outcasts and outsiders who were commonly looked down upon (or even despised) yet both were healed because they humbled themselves before God.
During Lent we are called by Jesus to enter into His suffering, death, and resurrection by looking inward and asking ourselves the painful question: What must die?
What sins, habits, and flaws must die inside of us so that the love of God can transform us into a new person? For if we die with Christ we shall also rise with him (Romans 6:8).
Don’t get me wrong, this is a frightening question but the prophets beg us to be stronger than fear. We know that the only way to get to resurrection is through our own personal suffering and death. It is the mysterious saving message that Jesus revealed and we need not be afraid because he will be with us through it all.
This lent, may we be stronger than fear, may we look inward and ask ourselves what sins and habits must die, so that we may slowly but surely grow into the new creation that Christ is moving us to become.
STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY
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