March 20, 2019
We are presently well into this Holy Season of Lent. Who is this “we”? All of us baptized into Jesus Christ who form the Body of Christ made visible and present here on earth – all of us who incarnate the Risen One in order to proclaim His Saving Gospel for the world.
Unfortunately at this time we are the Christian Community also hanging our heads in shame and sorrow because of the greatest abominable shame in the Church’s History – that of sexual abuse within the Church. It is like a huge malignant cancer throughout the world that rests at our feet!
In all this mess, God continues to love us and gives us this Penitential Season of Lent, a season of healing, change, and re-orientation. Penance consists of acts that reveal a basic need for us to be converted by grace to a better life in Christ. All of us need to do penance at this critical time in the Church History. We are all responsible to cleanse the Church of Its gross unbelievable sins in this area.
There is a great deal of work needed to accomplish this and this then constitutes a divine call for all of us to be involved. I recall the Catholic theologian and sociologist, Father Andrew Greeley, stating it is going to take 2 – 3 generations to rebuild the Church today. Please recall the special meeting of clergy and laity in the end of February past to deal with sex abuse: it was very important and underlined the call to all Catholics to undertake this task.
The First Reading today is from Exodus – Moses and the burning bush at Mount Horeb. Here God reveals God’s self to us. See this as happening right now for us because of the need in today’s Church (as outlined above). The Second Reading is from 1 Corinthians: “God was not pleased with most of them.” This says it all! And remember always that the Risen One is working with us in all this. “Jesus lovingly commits himself to the troubles of our lives. The wise gardener, he knows when and how to amend the soil. Tended carefully, even the least appealing aspects of our lives offers essential nutrients for healthy growth. We can be transformed; our lives can become even more fruitful.” (Brenda Merk Hildebrand, commentator for the Third Sunday of Lent, Living With Christ, March 2019).
“The Lord is merciful and gracious.”