Tuesday September 16, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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The Lenten thawing of our hearts

Ministerial Moment
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What many people find frustrating and disappointing about the weather is that it doesn't always flow or occur in a straight-forward manner or in a sensible manner. Just recently, we had an extended period of seasonably pleasant and warmer weather, which saw the melting of much of our snow, so that our streets and side-walks are virtually clear (at least where snow was removed regularly). Now, this was all well and good, and greatly welcomed after our longer spells of colder temperatures, but for those colder conditions we have had to endure in this past week, this was seen as a slap in the face and not greatly appreciated.

It is most interesting to recognize the parallels to our spiritual lives, as we don't always make the progress spiritually in God's plan in a smooth fashion. It would be nice to be able to progress in a steady manner, even with quantum leaps from time to time, but at least with no back-sliding ever involved. Unfortunately, as we examine our hearts in a prayerful setting, we are taken aback when we notice that we are not as kind and compassionate, not as forgiving and merciful, not as generous and willing to serve others as we might have liked to think so. Like the return of our colder temperatures, we don't like to admit that our hearts have grown cold towards others whom we should love and forgive, as the Lord has loved and forgiven us.

That frozen bank of snow outside on my lawn, dirty with the debris and soil accumulated in it, becomes an apt symbol of my cold and frozen heart that fails to beat more vibrantly with the love and compassion of Christ. Our Lenten prayers and activities all have the desired outcome of God fashioning a new heart, filled with contrition and humility, as the Holy Spirit warms us to thaw our hardness of heart and our cold attitudes towards others whom I should love and help, as if it were the Lord Himself that I was loving and helping.

Our Christian journey in Lent and through our Easter season should help us to truly put on the mind and heart of Christ, who humbled Himself to share our human condition and made Himself poor for our sake, in order to make us rich with His divinity. Even though we are not deserving of His love and mercy, He poured His life for us on the cross, so that He might bring us to the springtime of His resurrection and His new life in the Spirit. Have mercy on me, Lord Jesus Christ, for I am a sinner in need of Your great mercy. Thanks be to God.


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