Third Sunday of Lent

& main, 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.

Third Sunday in Lent

As we enter the gospel narrative this week we hear Jesus responding to the question: Why do some people suffer? Why do bad things happen to some people? A common belief among the people standing around him was that if people suffer in some way, it is because they have sinned against God, and deserve to be punished.

Some sudden and traumatic events haunted their lives and they are trying to make meaning in it all. But in so doing they attach heavenly retribution to those who lay buried under the rubble of a tower that collapsed, or who suffer a brutal death at the hands of the Roman Pilate. Yes, we do desire to make meaning. As we live on this side of Eden, suffering does damage and twist our lives. The lie which spun its dark web in the Garden has pulled us all into its deadly grip (Genesis 3); this evil rejection of God’s loving and vibrant creation and life infiltrates all of our lives.

It is into this bent and broken world that God keeps coming – ever since Eden. In Jesus God shows up in person, among us. And now, as Jesus listens to those standing around him, he recognizes how they too are caught in that dark web, but are unaware of how deadly it is. And thus he invites their attention: Repent; turn from assigning God’s blame on others, and pay attention to your own need of freedom from the domination of evil. For all are caught in the web of death, and it is Jesus who is here among us, offering a way to freedom. He brings us release from the clutches of its captivity.

Lent is a season for us to deepen our awareness of where we still remain captive – hence the call to fast. Fasting is a spiritual discipline which exposes those things to which we are attached, and from which we cannot pull ourselves free. It is Jesus who comes and who over time, does that deep inner work of setting us free, free to grow in love and to walk in his ways.

Reflect on your own sense of attachments, those things which keep you in their grip. What kind of fast do you need at this time? In what way do you desire to bring your needs for release to God?

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

Third Sunday in Lent

3/1 Monday: Luke 13:1-5
3/2 Tuesday: Luke 13:6-9
3/3 Wednesday: Psalm 63:1-8
3/4 Thursday: Isaiah 55:1-9
3/5 Friday: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
3/6 Saturday: Luke 13:1-5
3/7 Sunday Luke 13:6-9