Thursday, April 3, 2014

At Once!

From the Hermitage
April 3, 2014
Thursday, 4th Week of Lent

Dear Friends,

We are drawing ever closer to the sacred days of the season.  Surely, if you are like me, the intentions I set before myself at the beginning of Lent, have had their good days as well as other days.  What I have come to realize is that some of what I thought would be a noble practice were really not avenues that would lead me to a closer and more significant relationship to my God.  What God really wanted me to do, that which would bring me to a deeper understanding of what a God-priest relationship can be, became evident in do much to care for my very sick brother.  God continues teaching me that His ways are what He expects of me during this season of continuing self-discovery.  My absenting myself from watching two or three of my favorite TV shows lacked an emptiness, failed in bringing me closer to God.  Yet, the many trips from Lanham to Lewes, Delaware and the hospital and rehabilitation centers, being present during the daytime hours when loneliness and fright made life painful and somewhat scary for my brother brought me so much closer to God.  There were more than a few genuine God-priest conversations and reflections driving back and forth.

Yesterday, as you may recall, I was captured by a comparison of the two faces in the Michelangelo painting of creation.  The face of God and his reaching out to Adam with all the energy possible showed me how much God cares for me and you and that he stretches out to reach us.  In the very first words of today's first reading, "Go down AT ONCE to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved.  They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molted calf and worshiping it,... God is disturbed and worried about his people.  He conveys this paternal care in these words to Moses.  When one of their children seems to be in trouble, going about life the wrong way, usually one parent says to the other that there is something wrong and that they must do something about it to save their offspring from danger.

Let today's readings help us use these final weeks of Lent to make real the discovery of the inestimable worth of God's love for us.  He always stretches out to reach us.  He is immediate in his concern for us especially when we allow molten calves take over our hearts and distance ourselves from the love and care of our God for us.  Let these final weeks of Lent 2014 be for us a period of time when we do all we can to reach back to the stretched out hand of God, when we can open our hearts and souls to experience the AT ONCE-ness of God's care for us.  This is why we have a Lent!  This is the call to us to use these days of special prayer and reflection to open up in our hearts the reality of God's love and care for us.

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Milt