Friday of the Third Week of Lent
HOS 14: 2-10
PS 81: 6C-8A, 8BC-9, 10-11AB, 14 AND 17
MK 12: 28-34
“Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt.”
“I am the Lord your God: hear my voice”
Many times, I share in Israel’s fear of being lost, turning to God for direction. I usually feel as if I am on the verge of hearing His plans for me but right when I am ready, I am caught up in the distractions of life. Usually, a test I need to study for, a meeting to go to, or having to check something off my ever-growing to-do-list. Last week at 9pm mass, Fr. Hellman emphasized the importance of waiting to hear God’s voice. He repeated, “Here I am God” and most importantly, followed it up with “I am Yours.” Being reminded of not only waiting for God, but also believing whole-heartedly that we are His, is how we can truly heed His voice. As it is easy to say, it is often difficult in practice, thus that is how we can continue our Lenten journey: using it as a time to practice receiving His voice.
During the Lenten season, we are not only challenged to hear God’s voice and live out His will, but to also be open to His saving power as He says “I will heal their defection, says the Lord, I will love them freely.” In order to feel such power, we need to turn to Him and be open to hearing His voice wherever we are. The beauty of this is that we can see Him wherever we go but that can also be the challenge. As it is often easy to see God everywhere, such as in friends or in nature, it can also be tough to see Him when we don’t feel ready. But that is our Lenten challenge, to prepare for His coming by readying our minds, bodies, and souls for Him. One of my own efforts to prepare for His coming is by reading daily devotionals. One of the reflection quotes was, “How many times does it take you to respond to God’s Word?” I took this to heart and realized that I often say or think I should act on one thing, but know my heart is not actually devoted to the plan. Through reflection, I can practice focusing on God, with my entire being. As today’s reading focuses on the Commandments, the first being that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength,” we are reminded to commit one’s entire self to God, not just the parts of us we think we should commit to Him.
This season, we are to work towards God, as we are given the tools to get to there. All that is left is to fully commit ourselves to knowing Him. We can begin the path if we, “Take with you words and return to the Lord.”