THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, March 24th, 2015
Liturgical texts here
THERE is a growing sense of anticipation among those who are watching the signs of the times that things are coming to a head. And that’s good: God is getting the world’s attention. But along with this anticipation comes at times an expectation that certain events are just around the corner… and that gives way to predictions, calculating dates, and endless speculation. And that can sometimes distract people from what’s necessary, and can ultimately lead to disillusionment, cynicism, and even apathy.
That’s what happened to the Israelites in today’s first reading. A journey that should have taken under two weeks ended up taking 40 years. Why? Because God’s timeline was not theirs; the people needed to go by a path by which to be purified and prepared to enter a new era. They needed to learn to abandon themselves entirely to God’s providence so that they would become docile enough to live in His Divine Will—the only true guarantee of peace and prosperity.
But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert…?” (First reading)
There is something remarkable happening at this hour, I agree. There is a convergence of not only world events but prophecies from both Catholics and Protestants that are taking on a new urgency. Still, the most important thing right now is that we are faithful in little things, cf. Little Things that Matter with that which is right in front of our noses. That is the preparation for the future. In today’s Gospel, even though Jesus was telling them that He was God— “I AM” He said twice —they still kept asking who He was. The answer was right in front of them.
You see, God is giving you your daily bread right now: studying, going to work, sweeping the floor, doing the laundry, etc. That is to say, His “word” is being revealed to you in the duty of the moment. cf. The Sacrament of the Present Moment and The Duty of the Moment But many are tired of things dragging on, tired of “watching and praying”, tired of eating “quail” and “manna” every day.
We are disgusted with this wretched food!” (First reading)
They want God to get on with it, to hurry up, to deal with this world once and for all. But the words of the prophet Amos come to mind:
Woe to those who yearn for the day of the Lord! What will the day of the Lord mean for you? It will be darkness, not light… (Amos 5:18)
The “day of the Lord” will shake the entire foundations of the world, and those who wish for it probably don’t understand the hardship that it entails. cf. Fatima and the Great Shaking Yet, God is preparing something beautiful in the midst of this darkness, cf. The Great Liberation echoed in today’s Psalm:
The LORD looked down from his holy height, from heaven he beheld the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die…
It is a Great Liberation, and that is what He is asking you and I to prepare for—however long that takes Him. I am drawn to the parable of the ten virgins where Jesus says:
Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep…
…the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. (Matt 25:4)
Our Lady has not come to ask us to fill the flasks of our hearts with speculation, but with Wisdom. And that only comes by way of prayer, obedience, and total trust—the antithesis, really, of anxious speculation. Simply, as Our Mother says, “Do whatever He tells you.” cf. John 2:5
I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. (Today’s Gospel)
Such are the ones who will be ready when midnight comes, to be the only light left in the world…
Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matt 25:13)
Thanks for your prayers and support.
Set in medieval times, The Tree is a remarkable blend of drama, adventure, spirituality, and characters the reader will remember for a long time after the last page is turned…
Calling Denise Mallett an incredibly gifted author is an understatement! The Tree is captivating and beautifully written. I keep on asking myself, “How can somebody write something like this?” Speechless.
—Ken Yasinski, Catholic speaker, author & founder of FacetoFace Ministries
From the first word to the last I was captivated, suspended between awe and amazement. How did one so young write such intricate plot lines, such complex characters, such compelling dialogue? How had a mere teenager mastered the craft of writing, not just with proficiency, but with depth of feeling? How could she treat profound themes so deftly without the least bit of preachiness? I am still in awe. Clearly the hand of God is in this gift.
—Janet Klasson, author of The Pelianito Journal Blog
Spend 5 minutes a day with Mark, meditating upon the daily Now Word in the Mass readings
for these forty days of Lent.
A sacrifice that will feed your soul!