Lenten Reflection – 4 April – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C
Exodus 32:7-14; Psalms 106:19-20, 21-22, 23; John 5:31-47
“…you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent.”...John 5:38
Fertile excuses and evasions
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Next I observe that a civilised age is more exposed to subtle sins than a rude age. Why? For this simple reason- because it is more fertile in excuses and evasions. It can defend error and hence, can blind the eyes of those who have not very careful consciences. It can make error plausible, it can make vice look like virtue. It dignifies sin by fine names; it calls avarice proper care of one’s family, or industry, it calls pride independence, it calls ambition greatness of mind; resentment it calls proper spirit and sense of honour and so on.
…What all of us want more than anything else, what this age wants, is that its intellect and its will should be under a law. At present it is lawless, its will is its own law, its own reason is the standard of all truth . It does not bow to authority, it does not submit to the law of faith. It is wise in its own eyes and it relies on its own resources. And you, as living in the world, are in danger of being seduced by it and being a partner in its sin and so coming in, at the end, for its punishment.
Lead us to the joy of Easter.
We are still aware of our patterns.
We still are realigning our priorities.
We are still trying to simplify
and trying to eat in solidarity with others.
Most of all, we are still asking for a change of heart.
They made a calf in Horeb
and worshipped a molten image.
They exchanged the glory of God
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
Merciful Father, Loving Mother,
I know that the tiny sacrifices I make this Lent
can never serve as a real penance in my life.
But help me to make my whole life
one of following Your Son.
Listening to Him, seeking Him.
I am filled with Your love.
Let Your love shine out from within me
and guide my life in this sacred journey
toward the Easter joy You offer me.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.