Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
Believe in yourself! Do it yourself! Help yourself! MYAccount, MySLU, IPad, Ithis, I that…Lots of focus on the self in the daily language, information systems and gadgets we use to take care of ourselves and make things just the way we want them…as long as we follow the system that some faceless expert has set up for us!
Our Lenten readings from the Liturgy today give a good chance for us to snap out of this constantly human temptation to become self-reliant and tune out the reality of God and others, especially the weak and vulnerable who are standing just beyond the borders of our particular instances of “Me, myself and I.”
The barren bush, standing in the desert amidst the lava waste- here is the comparison to the human heart that turns away from the Lord and chooses self-reliance instead.
God who is love desires to break through these barriers of selfishness. Those who are poor and vulnerable have a particularly “blessed” way of doing this in the plan of God. Encounter with the poor, like in the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, is one of the ways that God seeks to pierce our self-satisfied hearts. And yet sometimes even those encounters are not poignant enough to break through. The Rich Man in the Gospel remained deaf to the call of the Lord through the misery and sores of Lazarus. May we not remain deaf to that same call to come out of ourselves in love for the weak among us this Lent!
Fr. Chris Collins, SJ is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology in the Department of Theological Studies.