Today is the final day of Great Lent, and our final post for our 2022 Daily Lenten Journey. For forty days, the Church has asked us to read from the Old Testament, specifically Isaiah, Genesis and Proverbs and today we come to the final verses in each. They might be the final verses we read, but they are not the end of the story. Great Lent is ending today, but our journey to Christ is just getting started.
2022 Daily Lenten Journey
Tomorrow is the last day of Great Lent and I’m wondering what I learned about myself this year. If we don’t stop and ask this question, then our journey was nothing more than a list of ‘dos and don’ts’ without any benefit. It might make us good Pharisees, but it makes us worthless Christians. So here goes…
The other day I spoke of greed. Today we hear the medicine from God. When our heart is consumed with greed, which is actually self-love, we cannot see beyond ourselves. When we love others more than we love ourselves, then our charity takes over, and we are blessed by God.
When it comes to the Holy Scriptures, we cannot take for granted that we always know what we are reading without the Church guiding us. I am constantly reminding people of the words of the Ethiopian Eunuch when he answered Saint Philip, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” (Acts 8.31) It was a simple question. “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8.30) Today’s reading from Proverbs is another example of that.
Greed is wanting something from someone else that you do not have. You can be poor or rich, and still be greedy for more, and take from another. You can be popular and respected, and still want be greedy for more attention, and rob others of being noticed. Put very simply, greed is insatiable desire.
When someone suffering from addiction desires to stop his addiction, radical changes in his way of life are required in order for him to isolate the behaviors that feed his addiction. This is the process that is so successfully carried at drug and alcohol rehab facilities throughout our nation. Many times the first step in rehab is spending time “in detox” which gives the body time for the particular drug to be cleansed from his organs etc.
Many people ask the question, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we new the future?” What would you change about your life if you knew the future? If you knew that tomorrow you were going to be hit by a bus on your daily walk, would you change your normal path to avoid the bus? I would. If you knew that next week you were going to find something very valuable at the checkout stand of a 7-Eleven, would you spend the next week walking into every 7-Eleven you knew? I would. We do know the future, just not the future people are asking about.
One of the greatest commandments from God is for us to forgive others as He forgives us. As I have said before, the word forgive (συγχωρώ) literally means ‘two things sharing the same space’. In other words, when we forgive, we are expected to place ourselves in the same place as the other.
Cue the ominous music. Flash pictures of suffering and death. It could only one of two options on the TV. It is either a commercial for SPCA or any number of United Nations endorsed organizations to help people in far-away countries. These commercials draw at your emotions while promising comfort to others. Unfortunately, the comfort these commercials promise is really about others, but comforting your guilt.