Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuesday word, 27 Feb 2007

1 Lenten Tuesday (27 Feb 2007) Is 55. 10-11; Ps 34; Mt 6. 7-15
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Will Scriptures Convince You?

Sought, called out, cry, cry out
: all from our responsorial, Psalm 34. None of those activities went unnoticed by the Lord. Psalm 34 sang that the Lord answered, delivered, saved, hears and rescues.

I reviewed the lectionary for Lent excluding Holy Week. In its first five weeks, minus two solemnities, which have their own readings (St. Joseph and the Annunciation), 28 daily readings are offered us. On 19 of those days at least one scripture mentions someone crying, Rescue or Save me. That’s 68%!

Indeed, all scripture is about our salvation. Yet, the direct appeal to God for rescue prevails more than we may think and especially are aware. Do we consciously and clearly and boldly cry out for God to rescue us? Or, do we feel we do not need God to rescue us, to save us, to hear us?

As Psalm 34 reminds us, our God has ears for our cry. I don’t consider that a fanciful expression but a vivid description of God and God’s heart. God’s heart always embraces us. Do we acknowledge that? If we did acknowledge that squarely, then I think we would cry out full-throated to God. Ask yourself if you more often feel, I don’t need God to rescue me now.

All of us have been with someone who needs to ask us for something, but the person has a difficult time getting to the point of it. I’ve done that. I imagine you have, too. As listeners we want to shake the person, “Just ask!” God's heart desires that we, "Just ask, just cry."

That direct asking characterized Jewish prayer. So when Jesus spoke to his disciples about the way to pray, Jesus recommended they first praise God, then ask for what they truly need. Could it be that we feel little need for God to rescue us? That could be one’s focus throughout Lent.

Photo by Cynner_SF used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 license.

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