Second Sunday of Lent

& archive, Year C.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You see how bent over we are
Under the weight of the world’s habits.
Unburden us
Clear the path within our soul
Lift up our heads to see you
Our hearts to love you
To follow you
To stay with you.

Second Sunday in Lent

As Jesus walks south on the road to Jerusalem (see Luke 13:22) he is aware of the hostility mounting among religious and political leaders. Some of the Pharisees are for this rabbi who is announcing the kingdom of God, who heals the sick, demonstrates a clear authority against demons, and who cares deeply for the poor. They are beginning to recognize a deeper and life-centered righteousness in Jesus. Other Pharisees are working actively to conspire against him, and Herod has been swayed to join their ranks. As we enter the narrative, some Pharisees come to Jesus, and warn him to “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”

If Herod conceives of himself as king with authority to arrest and kill Jesus, now Jesus demonstrates a greater power and authority. He knows himself to be kept in the hand of God, and no religious leader or political ruler has the power to snatch him out of God’s holding – until it is God’s time. And then Jesus will willingly give himself over. Jesus is aware that his work is not yet fully done: “I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.” The completion of his work is in sight, but even then, he knows where he is to be when his work is done: in Jerusalem,
not here on the road to that great city.

Jerusalem’s history is scarred with the bodies of prophets who have been killed, and Jesus knows that soon he will also suffer condemnation and crucifixion there. Within himself he feels sorrow and grief. Like a mother whose heart is aching because her children spurn her love, the wail of lament rises out of his soul and rends the air around him: “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Luke 13:34)

For reflection:

During this Lenten season, we are invited to reflect on who it is to whom we yield our deepest obedience. Which authority is foremost in our life? Whose word guides and shapes our life and practice?

This reflection will help us discern our own relationship with God, and how we pay attention to God’s invitation and respond, or how we silence God’s call and turn away – within ourselves, and in our lack of response to the needs of the world around us.

Lent is an invitation to reflection, to listening, to turning, and to deeper conversion.

Dear Lord,
Help me to listen
Free me from being blind to who you are
Release me from captivity to the world’s ways
Help me to listen
Amen

Second Sunday in Lent

2/18 Monday: Luke 13:31-35
2/19 Tuesday: Luke 13:31-35
2/20 Wednesday: Psalm 27
2/21 Thursday: Genesis 15:1-12,17-18
2/23 Friday: Philippians 3:17 – 4:1
2/24 Saturday: Luke 13:31-35
2/25 Sunday: Luke 13:31-35