March 14, 2016 – Monday in the 5th Week of Lent
Saint for the day: Matilda (Death 968)
Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:
Daniel 13: 1-9 … … 32-62
Note: If you like to read about intrigue and opulence be sure to click on the “link” to today’s saint, Matilda, to see how life in the Church was during her lifetime at the end of the 10th Century. Now, on to today’s reflection!
“Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side. (today’s responsorial psalm refrain.)
Today’s Responsorial Psalm (partly captioned, above) is key to giving our scriptures for today’s Liturgy meaning as we begin the 5th Week of Lent. In the Old Testament story of Suzanna she is almost at the end of her rope. Two Elders try to “have their way” with her but her cry bought others into the garden. The clever, old men quickly hatch a plot to make it look like she has secretly met with a young lover. However, she is saved by Daniel who uses the “divide and conquer” ploy to trap the two elders in their own scheme.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm really does become the perfect bridge to the Holy Gospel especially since Jesus doesn’t really have any rescuers to save him from the trap set by Judas. His first defense is to claim that He is “the light of the world” and that he knows where He came from and where He is going. This statement is up against the two old men in the Suzanna story who were only led by their own lust. There’s a lessen for us in today’s scriptures. In the first place Suzanna knows exactly who she is and has no pretentions and only wants to cool off in the water of the pool. The two old men are only motivated by their lust which really didn’t get them anywhere.
Jesus, on the other hand, knows who he is and what he is about along with where he has come from and where he is going. But the Jews don’t know anything about Jesus and so, are left in the dark. From the scriptures given us today we can see the importance of knowing Jesus; who he is; where he comes from and where he’s going. Thus, our goal in Lent should be to meet Jesus; get to know him; and – for sure – follow Him. Work on those three facts and it will all fall into place.
I once heard a priest end the Mass with these words: “may the peace of Christ profoundly disturb you.” He wasn’t trying to make some crisis in peoples lives but was trying to make clear the fact that any encounter with Jesus has to knock us off our presumptions and change something in the way we live our lives. If the life, death and resurrection of Jesus doesn’t change us in some way or other we might have missed the point all together. Lot’s to think about today! Amen!