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3/24/19 Third Sunday in Lent - Fr. Damian

This Sunday we speak about repentance and recognizing the presence of the living God. It is our first reading that speaks about Moses encountering a burning bush. This is a story that almost every Christian knows because it has such a strong appeal. How often we might long to encounter the living God in such a way!!

 

And yet every day we encounter the living God in one another, and it rarely makes an impression on us. Just as in the burning bush God is present, so by faith we also believe that he is present in every person that we meet. Moses was so clear about God’s presence that he took off his shoes in the presence of the divine. We need to learn this kind of respect and reverence for each person that comes into our lives.

 

Part of Lent always should be a prayer asking God to show us His presence in each person. How our lives would change with this small and simple awareness!

 

The second reading reminds us that we can begin to grumble when we forget about the divine presence being always with us. The author reminds his readers that there were a lot of people with Moses on that journey in the desert and almost all of them grumbled because God was not treating them the way they wanted to be treated.

How often this is true for ourselves!

 

Somehow we often get into our heads and hearts that God should treat us in a particular way. We often think that somehow our believing will keep us free from any harm. And so when something really bad happens to us or to someone we love,we get angry with God. Instead, today, we are reminded that God is with us, but not as a magician who will make everything nice and wonderful.

 

The Gospel reminds us that we have time on this earth to change our lives. God expects us to use this time well. This is said to us, not as a threat, but as an invitation. How often we see our own shortcomings and do nothing about them. In Lent this year, we are invited to consider how we can change our lives so that they reflect more clearly the love and compassion of our God.

 

Let us ask today for this grace of desiring change in our lives. It is called “conversion” in classical Church language. Let us be converted so that we can live!

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