The refrain of the responsorial psalm, "The Lord remembers his covenant for ever" announces the theme for this date’s liturgy: God is faithful. As we make our way through the final days of Lent and head toward the climactic finish of Holy Week, we will be urged by the readings to focus again and again on God’s faithfulness to His promises. Our Lenten observance seeks to prepare us for the celebration of Easter – the great expression of God’s fidelity to his Son and Servant Jesus. As God was faithful to promises made to Abraham and all covenanted with Him in the historical sweep of the Old Testament, so will God’s bond of love and support for Jesus not be broken by death. In Resurrection, God vindicates the work and suffering of Jesus and validates the message of his great and faithful servant. The faithfulness of God is an important idea and concept for us, for it is the basis of hope. As we know, we live in a world and a situation desperately needing hope. Today’s liturgy reminds us that it is not foolish nor naïve to cling to hope in a better day and in the triumph of goodness over evil. This was the faith that nourished and motivated the great saints and martyrs whose witness and example continues to inspire us today.
Fr. Jim Thoman, C.P. is the director of St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan.