5, మార్చి 2023, ఆదివారం

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

 

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

Daniel 9:4b-10

Luke 6:36-38

The Confession of a Man and the Compassion of God 

“I prayed to the LORD, my God, and confessed” (Daniel 9:4b )

Jesus said: "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36) 

The season of Lent is a time of faith journey to repair the broken relationships with God, others and oneself, and we have the best tool in the form of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). The Sins, our burdens, cares and anxieties and everything of that sort tries to knock us down and inflict an internal injury to the soul so as to keep us away from Grace. However in Confession God offers us compassion and forgiveness, energised by that we can continue our journey. We will not remain stranded. (Psalm 55:22; & 1 Peter 5:7)

 

Today’s readings exactly take us into depths of our imperfection and into the depths of God’s perfection. Here we have the perfect model of Confession.

The context was that Prophet Daniel learned about the decree of the Lord pronounced through Prophet Jeremiah that Jerusalem will be in ruins for seventy years. It is in this context Daniel makes a genuine and fervent confession pleading for God’s mercy.

We too can inculcate this confession into our lives as it manifests perfectly how one has to make honest prayer and confession. 

    He acknowledges the perfection of God in his Nature 

    He acknowledges the faithfulness of the Lord in his promises and blessings

    He also confesses the imperfection of the people of israel

   He confesses it with true sorrow and repentance for the failing in observing the covenant and commandments.

   He confesses it with genuine humility and reverence

   He accepts with contrite heart that they have gone astray

We have sinned( doing all kinds of evil & impure acts), we have rebelled (strayed away from His life giving presence), we have not obeyed (neither the message, the eternal Word nor messengers), we are shamefaced (utterly shattered & broken)”

These words manifest the genuine heart of a person who truly feels the need of returning to God and portray that God is the sole healer/repairer.

 

It’s an invitation for all of us, we have failed, Sinned, rebelled and disobeyed and ashamed of our acts. However our confessions are regularly focused only on or utter something about lies, distractions and temperament and so on.  We all need mercy and forgiveness; the healing and repairs.

It’s a time for us to confess and convert, renew and change.

Time to be open with oneself

Time to acknowledge ourselves, where we have failed and need of change

We must go in deeper and confess our failed relationship with Him and others and ourselves. That’s why we need to confess our failing in relation to others too.

Jesus states "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.

The Gospel today suggests that we are not in a position to judge and condemn others, it is not that we have to be blind to the mistakes but follow the path of mercy and forgiveness. But we seldom help them to correct their ways, but we invest a lot of time in criticising and backbiting rather than reforming them. 

Take for a moment to see, our conversations and media outlets are full of judgement and condemning even sometimes with no evidence. we turn to blame others, and point fingers at others' faults. Somehow we make someone a victim or scapegoat.

In our chitchats and gatherings it is all about trying to judge, condemn others and their faults. We lack compassion for our brothers and sisters.

Therefore,

     The first reminds us to confess to repair the relationship with God, the Father

     The Gospel calls upon us to repair that relationship with our brothers and sisters.

 

Once we open ourselves to God, His mercy is guaranteed. But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!(Daniel 9:19)

    But Confession is not a clearance certificate for us to condemn others

    but a Channel of  Communication: of God’s mercy, compassion and forgiveness to others, the measure we communicate to the measure we receive in return.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. ((Psalm 55:22) 

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.(1 Peter 5:7) 

“But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved.”  (Ephesians 2:4-5)


FR. JAYARAJU MANTHENA OCD

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

 SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

Gn 12:1-4a  

2 Tm 1:8b-10  

Mt 17:1-9              

the Calling - the Experience -  the Conversion

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, the readings of the day speak about the Calling (in other words God’s leading), the Experience and the Conversion ( in other words Transfiguration and Transformation ) of our lives. We are invited to experience the glimpse of the presence of God and thus complete transformation.

The mountain experience.

      In the Old Testament, Moses was called up to the mountain of Sinai, where he experienced the Presence of God, the Commandments of God and the glory of God radiated in  his face. (Exodus 19)

      Prophet Eilijah also was led up to the same Mountain Sinai (Horeb) where he encountered God in the still voice, light whisper. ( 1 Kings 19)

They were led up the mountain to witness God’s glory and God’s Purpose.

 

Similarly in the Gospel of the day, Jesus led the disciples up a mountain, Tabor. When He was transfigured they were astonished and feared witnessing the glory of God and presence of Moses and Elijah who represented Law and Prophets. In other words God’s message and God’s way of living. (God’s Covenant and Covenantal life). Transfiguration took place

      to discuss the Divine Plan of Salvation

      to turn focus from Earthly glory to Heavenly Glory

      to strengthen the disciples for the future Challenges/future faith journey

 

That’s why even when Peter said Let us remain here, Jesus led them to the base of the mountain. He led them to join daily life, led them back to family and community. It was a wonderful, heavenly experience but there is no staying in that moment. Sometimes we think, when things are good we wish them to remain the same however life moves on. It does not remain at one experience but changes. Therefore we too have to keep moving forward with the strength of the lord. 

In the first reading,  we hear the Call of Abraham. God called him and promised him abundant blessings and through him to other people and nations also. But one requirement is that he has to leave his family, and go to the land shown by God. he has to go from familiar people to unknown people and known country to unknown country. He had a lot of possessions, many relatives but lacked one thing in his life. He does not have offspring of his own. He listened to the voice of God, first thing he trusted in God’s word, then sacrificed everything, cut off all his ties to the family and nation and set out courageously to the land shown by God.    

Thus he moved obediently from his place to a new land. He was accordingly blessed and always protected.

2nd Reading:

In the second reading St. Paul too invites us “ bear hardships for the Gospel '', that in our faith journey we may face many challenges and sufferings but we have to courageously move forward trusting in the Lord that he strengthens and supports us always.

And hoping in grace that we may be transformed and drawn to eternal glory, a share in the radiance of God’s glory. 

 

It is said "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."  By listening only we will be able to walk in his ways, therefore we have to listen to his words prayerfully and carefully; accepting and applying it into our life. This way we can have direction and strength to walk in his ways.

It's not easy to listen and walk, even for Abraham it was not easy but listening and trusting in God he moved forward with courage. God supports and supplies for us too in our journey.  

 

Dear Brothers and sisters in christ jesus, the time of lent is not just to participate in some prayers, praise and worship alone but to remember that We are destined to share eternal glory, and mountain experience. Therefore the reflection of the day is Call to Conversion, Call to Transformation and call to change of our way of living and a call to move,

    From unbelief to belief

    From fear to courage

    From unbelief to belief

    From Suffering to glory

    From hatred to love

    From sins to Savior

    From death to life

 

Holy eucharistic celebration helps us and supports us in everything. So Let us listen to him and walk in his ways.

 

 

      Through the Holy Baptism, we are transformed into children of God and share eternal glory through sanctifying grace. We move from sin to new life

      Through the Holy Communion, we are transformed into his abiding presence, as we receive we become one with his body and blood and nourished spiritually.

      Through the Confirmation we are transformed with the power of the Holy spirit and We are empowered in our faith journey. 

 

      Through Confession, we are restored and transformed again to purity of body and soul and transformed into a stronger and faithful relationship with God.

      Through the Anointing of the Sick, we are transformed into Hope, courage and uniting us to christ the healer.

 

      Through  marriage, transformed into a union of faithful love and service between the couple and to the Church.

      Through the Holy Orders we are transformed through the obedience to the authority of the church in our lives.

 FR. JAYARAJU MANTHENA OCD

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