Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Just six weeks from today is Holy Saturday; Lent will be over as we stand on the threshold of Easter. The journey of life between Feb. 21 and April 4 is in our hands. What is my hope and prayer as Lent begins? More important, what is Jesus’ great desire for me this Lent 2015? It probably won’t be about what I “accomplish,” but about how I “serve,” and especially about how I invite Jesus to “take over my heart.”
Isaiah sets out our tasks for Lent: removing “oppression, false accusation and malicious speech.” Above all we are to “feed the hungry” and “care for the afflicted.” So it’s all about going out of myself to care for others after the example of Jesus!
And then—”light shall arise for you in the darkness.” Then “he will renew your strength.” Then “the Lord will guide you always.”
Welcome to the adventure of Lent 2015!
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
God loves a mess: a messy stable, a mixed-up world, a struggling life. Where there is a mess there is also the possibility of an open gateway to grace.
—Excerpted from 2011: A Book of Grace-Filled Days, by Margaret Silf. © 2010, Loyola Press, Chicago IL.