“O Lord, we are shamefaced like our kings, our princes, and our fathers who have sinned against you.” From the book of Daniel, these words express a sense of shame as that painful feeling caused by being aware of wrong or foolish behavior. It is an acknowledgment that despite God’s compassion and forgiveness, the people continued to pay no heed to the commands of the Lord given through the prophets. But they look with hope to that compassion and forgiveness.
As we use this time of Lent to reflect on our fidelity to the Lord’s call in our lives, it appears that we also need to stand shamefaced. Today’s gospel reading gives us the sayings of Jesus found at the end of the sermon on the plain. These set the standard for discipleship, service of God, and love of neighbor. Avoiding judgment and condemnation of one another, as well as the call to mercy and forgiveness, set a high bar for being faithful to the commands we have been given.
Both as individuals and as a community, we so often fall short in our discipleship. As we see individuals and families broken by an inability to judge with mercy and offer forgiveness, we realize how we have failed. As we see our society fractured by groups who deem others unacceptable, we need to stand shamefaced by what we do or continue to allow. Lent is not primarily a time of personal self-improvement but a time for us to realign ourselves with the vision God has for us.
We are promised that “gifts will be given to us packed together, shaken down and overflowing into our laps.” Saint Peter Julian reminds us that the Eucharist is that gift to us, overflowing with mercy, love, and nourishment. To whom do I need to be eucharist today?
Let Us Pray:
Lord, may we be so overwhelmed by your love, mercy, and compassion that we will be moved and enabled by your Spirit to transform our lives and our world with that same love, mercy, and compassion. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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