March 8, 2018 – Thursday in the 3rd Week of Lent

Saint for the day: John of God – March 8, 1495 – March 8, 1550)

Scripture readings for today’s Liturgy:

Jeremiah 7:23 – 28 – Psalm 95 – Luke 11:14-23

“In the beginning was the Word”

Whenever the Scriptures remind us that we are not listening to “God’s Word” I can’t help but go back to the very beginning. In Genesis we read: “In the beginning all was formless void and the Spirit hovered over the chaos and brought it all into order.” And God said, “Let there be… and it was. And it was good.” Yet, from that point on it seems like God had to struggle with us to get us to trust Him and His gift of creation. He gave us free will and time and time again, we make the wrong choices. “You will be my people and I will be your God.” Yet it doesn’t seem as if that was a good enough promise and one bite of the apple proved that it was a bad choice!

From then on, God has had to labor intensely to convince us that He is a God With Us: Emmanuel. We can look back at the history of Israel and say, “but that was then. This is now” but it’s almost all in the same moment. We perceive God’s presence in our lives and all the blessings that He grants to us. Then in a flash we turn our backs on His love and decide to take the pleasure of the moment over his promise to “be with us till the end of time.”

When Jesus is accused by the S & P’s of using the power of the devil to cast out devils He retorts with that familiar phrase, “any Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.” So, here we are. Halfway through Lent and we need to be reminded that God has brought us out of darkness into His wonderful light in order that we might be His people and know the oneness of God that is promised us … over and over again!

Lucifer – the name means “light bearer” – promises us his light which is all “razzel-dazzel” a flash in the pan light that doesn’t last. I’m reminded of that simple song, “This little of mine. I’m gonna let it shine…” St. Paul tells us, “fan that spark of life that God has given you into a living flame. St. Dominic’s symbol is a “hound” carrying a

flaming torch in his mouth lighting up “fires of faith” throughout the world. Can we not forget all the wonders God has poured into our lives and even though it might seem as if the spark is about to go out let us gently fan it back into a flame of faith.

In the beginning God said, “let there be light” and so it was. He brought us out of darkness – time and time again. Can we still trust Him?

“I will be your God and you shall be my people!”

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