Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Memorial Feast: Saint Patrick (born in Great Brittan – died in Ireland c. 5th Century) Patron Saint of Ireland
Book of the Prophet Isaiah 49:8-15, Psalm 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18, & John 5:17-30
About twenty years ago, one of my students at the University of Maryland met me after class and said to me, “Professor, you have the Clint Eastwood style of teaching.” He was referencing the 1966 movie, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I suspect he was right since I tend never to sugarcoat anything I teach or preach. Well, here I go again.
How many of us spend our lives looking for human happiness and security in places where it can never be entirely found? How many of us seek physical pleasures, worldly success, and practice one-upmanship, ignore sexual and racial discrimination, and so forth, even at the cost of damaging our human relationships with others? Even worse are those victimized by these practices and are powerless to act on their behalf.
We, as Catholic Christians, are taught that God makes our hearts to find ultimate security and happiness only in Him. Saint Augustine (345-430) beautifully reminds us, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.”
During His forty days in the desert, Jesus faced the temptations of satan luring Him away from doing His Father’s with the promises of worldly success and glory. In Lent, we follow Jesus to the desert. We increase our periods of personal prayer and allow the Lord to unmask Satan’s temptations. We pray for conversion from habitual attitudes that seek security and happiness primarily from the things of this world to a realization that seeks security and happiness from trusting in God and doing God’s will. We pray for the grace to handle our temptations as Jesus controlled His.
Friends, I will leave you with this thought. Many years ago, a dear friend of mine talked to me about a professional baseball player whose contract expired and was offered millions to stay with his current team, located where he was raised. Another team offered $50,000 more to sign with them. The player decided to leave his old team and fans who loved him for the more modest raise. My friend Tom simply said to me, “How many houses can you live in, and how many cars can you drive?” Think about it. At times we must wonder what is good, bad, or ugly.
Question of the Day: How much greater security and happiness can we humans have if we do not have a love of God and the teaching of Jesus?
Prayer: “God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:17)