20190407 Lent 5 C

Reflection for St Joseph Bulletin Cover during Lent

We have spent time on our Lenten Journey contemplating God’s love and mercy and our sinfulness and loneliness. We have asked God to forgive us for the times we failed and to teach us to follow him every day. As we searched our hearts for the times we failed, we may have found circumstances that still bother us, that still trouble us, sometimes from long ago.

It seems easier for us to hold onto the past and our loneliness than to open our hearts to God’s ever-present love. The prophet Isaiah wrote “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new!”

Our minds find change very difficult to accept. We get into our routines and don’t like to get outside of them. There is something unnerving about change. But Isaiah said that God was doing something new! Then Isaiah asks “Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Then Isaiah explains how God will provide water for his people to drink in the wastelands and the desert.

Water gives life. We can survive without food for a long period, but we can survive about three days without water. God provides the water; the healing our hearts need in the wasteland and desert. We have all spent time in the wasteland and desert of our lives. The times when we were lonely and even afraid of what would happen to us. Maybe it was a time of addition or a time when we were out of work and didn’t know how we would provide food or shelter for our family. Maybe it was an abusive relationship that we struggled to get out of for our own safety. Maybe it was a relationship with a family member that ended in a bitter fight and still eats at us today.

The prophets did not speak on their own. They were God’s spokesperson telling the people the message that God gave to the prophet. That message is still as valuable to us today as it was to the Israelites in Isaiah’s time. God promised that he would do something new for us.

Now it is up to us to reflect with penitent hearts the words of the prophet: “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new!”

It’s hard to let go of the past: the hurt, to let go of the pain caused by someone we knew, loved and respected. We have a chance to open our hearts to God and ask him to forgive the past and to provide healing for our hearts. May the rest of this Lenten Journey bring each of us closer to what new events God has in store for us.

Deacon Joe

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