Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Lent is a good time for us to examine our relationship with Jesus? How close and how deep is our friendship with him?
I suggest we ask ourselves two questions:
— The first question: On a scale of "one to ten," how would we measure our relationship with Jesus? Let’s say that it’s a "seven."
— The second question: What would it take to make that a "ten?"
In both our first reading today and in our gospel our attention is focused on the law and its fulfillment. But it is clear from Jesus’ words that mere keeping of laws and statutes is not enough.
So we participate at Mass, read Scripture, go to Reconciliation and pray the Stations and the Rosary to help us grow closer to Jesus. During this Lenten season we also fast, give alms and do other good works to help our relationship with Jesus become a ten.
Still, after keeping laws, praying, fasting and doing good works, we still don’t feel very close to God. Slowly we begin to realize that the spiritual life is not about us. It involves getting out of the way so that God can mold us, shape us, form us, take over and live through us. If we "let go and let God," than some day we will be able to say with St. Paul , "I live now not I but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)
The focus of the spiritual life is on the power and love of God at work among us. Then what is left for us is to give thanks and praise to God. With Mary we proclaim,"He who is mighty has done great things to us. Holy is his name." (cf. Luke 1:49) There is great peace in a life of gratitude.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/