“There are three things which united together conduce to the salvation of man; The Sacrament, The Wilderness, Fasting. No one who has not rightly contended receives a crown, but no one is admitted to the contest of virtue, except first being washed from the stains of all his sins, he is consecrated with the gift of heavenly grace” (St. Ambrose; Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aquinas, Luke 4).
Ask yourself what it is that you most want.. right now. Maybe a new job or better job security, better pay or just the respect of your employer. Or maybe you have health issues, concern for your children or the need to get your finances in better order. Do you need for a new car? I would just like a fun and extended summer vacation!
These are examples of the very real day-to-day concerns that we all experience. The Jews of Our Lord’s time had their daily concerns too. Some desired freedom from Roman rule, safety for themselves and their children, adequate shelter, food and clothing. But for centuries, they had also experienced a deeper longing. Many awaited the coming of the Messiah whom God had promised would deliver them from bondage.
When Jesus arrived, the people had lived for centuries in a spiritual darkness. As we know today, many of these people misunderstood what God intended for them, but their deep longing for justice was real. The truth is that we share that longing, even if we too misunderstand its meaning and importance.
All of the people who lived in the Lord’s time are gone to the after-life. Their ordinary daily concerns, real as they were, are past… and in the blinking of an eye, so too will ours be past. Then, the one thing that matters will remain—the love of God for us and our love for Him.
Remember, you are dust, and to dust you will return. Repent and believe in the Gospel.
Editor’s Note: Join us each morning during Lent for Daily Lenten Reflections.