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Thursday, third week of Lent

March 11, 2010

Blessed Thursday!

Today we pass the halfway point between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
How are you doing on the journey?

Father, help us to be ready to celebrate the great paschal mystery.
Make our love grow each day
as we approach the feast of our salvation.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer for today’s Mass)

Readings:
Jeremiah 7:23-28 (God’s people are rebellious)
Psalm 95:1-9 “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts”
+Luke 11:14-23 (those who aren’t for Jesus are against Him)

If we do not gather with the Lord, we cannot share His victory.

It’s that simple–and that difficult.

Imagine, for a moment, a noble prince who’s received reports of an evil knight robbing and kidnapping his subjects. He rides to the rescue, overpowering the evil one and throwing open the doors of the dungeon where the prisoners lie. Then he searches the castle until he locates all the stolen property, calling the rightful owners to come and reclaim it.

But the prisoners refuse to leave. They stop their ears and turn their backs on the prince, even clinging to their chains when he tries to lead them out! They’ve grown fond of the dark, dank air and wretched food. They scoff at the idea of anything better (that’s for dreamers). They can’t be bothered to work again or take on the daily responsibilities of freedom. Nor do the owners of the stolen property present themselves to reclaim it. When the prince tries to send it to them via his royal messengers, they spit in the messengers’ faces, curse them and send them away. They’re glad to be rid of the treasures that had been taken from them and they resent the prince’s attempts at restoration.

Not your typical fairy tale, right?! Yet this is precisely what God’s dealing with. The ancient serpent, the “strong man” has taken His people captive and despoiled them of graces and blessings God had given them. The Prince of Peace has come to the rescue, overpowered the strong man and set the captives free (see Luke 11:21-22, 4:18), but “they walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces to Me” (Jeremiah 7:24). No wonder Jesus said, “he that does not gather with Me scatters” (Luke 11:23).

There really is a King and a glorious Kingdom. There really is such a thing as freedom, and God has treasures for us beyond our wildest imaginings. But He can’t give them to us unless we turn our faces to Him, listen to Him and do what He says.

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” -Psalm 95:8

Yours on the way out of the dungeon,

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 11:02 am

    You come up with the neatest explanations!

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