Three days from today Lent 2019 begins. Last week St. Luke presented us with some challenges to consider as we endeavor to live Christian (Christ like) lives. I call them the Iron Christian Challenge. In today’s Gospel (Luke 6:39-45) St. Luke continues the challenge with more rules for Christ like living.
In three parables, Jesus describes people who are blind, disciples in training, people who are critical without considering their own faults, and good trees and rotten trees. The bottom line of the three parables is: “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks."
The question is, where are we in these parables? Are we like blind people trying to guide other blind people? Do we believe that we know more than the people who strive to guide us? Do we criticize others for splinters when we are carrying around heavy beams? And finally, what is in our hearts: good or evil?
As part of our Iron Christian Challenge we must reflect on these questions. Because unless we do reflect, and unless we strive to “clean up our act,” there is no way we can compete. We cannot “love [our] enemies; do good to those who hate [us]; bless those who curse [us]; pray for those who mistreat [us]” without attempting to put on “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). Putting on the mind of Christ is not impossible. The Old Testament writer of The Book of Wisdom says that, “…but things in heaven, who can search them out? Or who can know your counsel, unless you give Wisdom and send your holy spirit from on high? Thus, were the paths of those on earth made straight, and people learned what pleases you, and were saved by Wisdom” (Wisdom 9:16-18). We have the Holy Spirit. It was Jesus’ gift to us at Pentecost. So, as we prepare for Lent 2019, lets give ourselves time to reflect and, calling on the gift of the Holy Spirit, attempt to view the world through the mind of Christ. Who knows what will happen?
O God, our teacher and judge,
hear our prayer
as we gather at the table of your word.
Enrich our hears with the goodness of your wisdom
and renew us from within,
that all our actions,
all our words,
may bear the fruit of your transforming grace.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.