Everything in our lives is a gift from God! This Lenten season, grow in gratitude for what matters most. Join us for Everyday Stewardship Lenten Reflections with Tracy Earl Welliver. Discover inspiration and challenge for your stewardship way of life.
MARCH 4 – THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
Through our baptism, we have died and risen with Jesus Christ. We have new life in him. Some are in final preparations now for their baptisms at the Easter Vigil. When they are baptized, they will be called to be witness to the world about Our Lord’s saving power, just like those of us who are already baptized. Hopefully, we have set a good example for them as they begin their new lives in Jesus Christ.
► How do I witness to others about the saving power of my baptism?
Being a Christian is not always a popular way of living. In some parts of the world, following Jesus can get you killed. In much of the Western world, secularism and atheism are on the rise, making Christianity seemingly the choice of the weak and foolish. However, we need to remember that it was Jesus who was rejected first. Today, those who claim to be wise are often blind and those who are seen as foolish hold onto the truth.
► What have I done lately to learn more about my faith?
Catholic writer, Graham Greene, wrote, “You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.” Human justice would sentence us all for our sins. God’s mercy does not follow our human logic. In this world, we strive for justice, but we need to show gratitude to our God who covers us with a mercy that does not offer us what we truly deserve.
► Am I open to the saving power of God’s mercy in my life?
Rules and laws exist to provide order and protection to a community of people. Too often we fail to see that God’s laws exist for our benefit, not God’s. During Lent, we are asked to examine our lives and see where we fall short in our obedience to God’s laws. When we repent and begin observing His commandments again, we find that real freedom exists in obedience and that the fruits of following are ours.
► What obstacles exist that prevent me from fully following God’s commandments?
We all face strong temptations and hear mixed messages in this world. The secular society often reflects evil and not God. Lent is a time when we focus on that struggle by reflecting on the life of Jesus. He had temptations in the desert. He faced evil in others and often cured them or chased away demons. Just as he was strong in the stories of the Bible, he is strong today. When we are weak, he is strong.
► Do I really place my trust in Jesus when confronted with temptation?
We will sometimes speak about the Kingdom of God as something that will come in the future. However, that kingdom is in our midst right now. The Church is called to become a greater reflection of the kingdom to the world. Each of us is called to act like the sons and daughters of a king should act. We wait for the Second Coming; we are not waiting for the power of God to come into our world. That power was Jesus and that kingdom is now.
► What does it mean to me to be called a son or daughter of God?
Pride often leads to thinking that all we need is ourselves. Many of the practices of Lent (such as fasting, abstaining from meat, and prayer) remind us that our reliance cannot be only on ourselves. When we join others in Lenten devotions like Stations of the Cross, we should reflect also on what it means to be part of a community. We are not created to exist in this world alone. We are made for relationships with God and others. It is a reliance of God and the Body of Christ that truly gives us strength.
► Does pride get in the way of my relationship with God or others?
CONTINUE THE JOURNEY
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