O Lord, God great and to be feared, you keep the covenant and have kindness for those who love you and keep your commandments: we have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly, we have betrayed your commandments and your ordinances and turned away from them. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. Integrity, Lord, is yours; ours the look of shame we wear today, we, the people of Judah, the citizens of Jerusalem, the whole of Israel, near and far away, in every country to which you have dispersed us because of the treason we have committed against you. To us, Lord, the look of shame belongs, to our kings, our princes, our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God mercy and pardon belong, because we have betrayed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God nor followed the laws he has given us through his servants the prophets.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’
“…because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.”
There was one time where someone owed me some money. Usually most people will round up or down to the nearest ten cents or dollar but this person was extraordinary. I received full payment in cash right down to the nearest one cent. I then learnt from other friends that this person is a very calculating person and will not hesitate to go down to the nearest penny in order to ensure that everything is in a proper order. I recount this story because such behaviour may actually reflect my own behaviour. Do I engage in such an approach in life?
The Gospel passage of today reminds me of the need to be generous to all who come pass my life. Indeed, the good Lord has promised us wonderful eternal life and this is something which we can certainly look forward in discovering the plan which God has made for us. I have discovered, through prayer and inner reflection, that the reason why I hanker after such material possessions is because they provide me with certainty in life. Indeed these things are tangible and assure me of a certain lifestyle which I am comfortable with.
The challenge which this season of Lent suggests to us is to therefore let go of all these issues which we face in our lives and instead allow God to take control of our lives. This is certainly not an easy task but something which we can do with patience and trust in the Lord’s generosity. Let us take time to accept the adventure which God has planned for us.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please allow me to put aside my desires in life and let me desire only you.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who have taken the vow of poverty.