3rd Sunday Lent C
With this week, we conclude the first part of Lent. We continue our lessons in the faith, as our practices of Lent become deeper and more full of grace.
We enter into this week reflecting upon the Scrutiny that makes up our intense prayer for those Elect, preparing for Baptism. And, as we beg, as Church, that they be freed from sin and from all anxiety, we ask those same desires for ourselves.
The simple and powerful words of the Opening Prayer guides our daily prayer. We continue to wake each morning, pausing to ask for the graces we desire for the day. Throughout each day, the background of our thoughts and feelings is more and more taken up with what this journey means for our personal change of heart, the renewal of our Baptismal commitment to be placed with Jesus, and our growing desire to act in solidarity with the poor. We go to bed each evening, after pausing to give thanks for the gifts of the day.
So many of us have accumulated much more than we need. It bursts from our closets, overflows our shelves and clutters our lives. Lent might be a wonderful time to deliberately release ourselves from the many “things” we own by cleaning out our closets and simplifying our lives in a prayerful and intentional way.
On one level, this is ridding ourselves of things we don't need, or things that we hated to part with except that they are so "out of style." Certainly, many of us have many things that are "extra" or "unneeded" for us, but could be wonderful for those who can't afford to buy clothes at a store.
Another level of this journey into personal freedom is to ask ourselves how much I really do need. How many sweaters do I want to choose to have? How many jackets, sport shirts, dresses, shoes? How much jewelry? How much sporting equipment? How much electronic equipment? How many sets of silverware or dishes? How much of so many things we have in our lives?
We can get as serious and go as deeply into this as we desire to find fruit. This is not "should I get rid of what I don't need?" This is different, more faith-filled and takes us into giving up 'good' stuff -- perhaps stuff we are attached to -- because we want to experience the exercise of freedom. We do this because we sense that we are not free in some areas that are tremendously important for us, important for our salvation, and growing in freedom before the things of our lives can be a great grace. This freedom, too, will place us in greater solidarity with those who find such great happiness and joy in trusting in God, while having so much less than we imagine we could survive on.What else might we do, that fits with my circumstances and the needs around us and in the world?
Escape from Sin into True Freedom
Lent-A Season of Repentance
We Are Called Out of Egypt
Study and Exigesis
Extensive Commentaries with Text
Links to in-depth content
Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible
Children of a compassionate God: a theological exegesis of Luke 6:20-49 - Google Books
Sacra Pagina - The Gospel of Luke - Daniel J Harrington - Google Books