Today’s Scripture Reflection

Creighton U. Daily Reflection

February 21, 2024
by Gladyce Janky
Creighton University's Phoenix Campus
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 226

John 3:1-10
Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
Luke 11:29-32

Praying Lent

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The First Week of Lent


In this gospel reading, I hear Jesus’ frustration as he tells the crowd the sign they seek is standing before them.  He is healing the sick, teaching and embracing society’s outcasts as he proclaims the good news of the Kingdom, but they still cannot “hear and see” him.  I imagine Jesus lifting his face toward heaven, praying, Father, they don’t get it.  What else can I do?  I also appreciate that life in the first century, living under Roman rule, is difficult.  Many in the audience might be trudging along, heads down, so focused on life’s challenges that they cannot “see or hear” anyone.  Maybe their image of the Messiah as a warrior driving out the Romans prevents them from recognizing a different sort of king, One who offers eternal freedom.  Others may fear that if they accept Jesus, they will again be disappointed – they have lost hope. 

Like the people of Jesus’ time, we experience challenges, setbacks, and frustrations.  People and situations in our world make it difficult to “see and hear” that we are living in God’s Kingdom – just not the one at the end of time.  It has been over two thousand years since Jesus promised to return, so we might ask When, Lord,  when will you come again?  We might experience doubts, causing us to wonder if we have the strength to persevere.  Fortunately, Lent offers an opportunity for renewal. 

During Lent, we can notice the longing deep within our souls by intentionally slowing our pace.  We can connect with Jesus through sacred scripture, make a retreat, or spend time with one or more of our favorite saints.  It is not the “what” that is important, but the desire (or praying for the desire) to come closer to Jesus that matters.  If life is so hectic and it feels impossible to add “one more thing,” we can simply ask God each day to create a clean heart and steadfast spirit (Ps 51).  No matter how we intend to grow our relationship with Jesus this Lent, God will accept our gift and joyously accompany us into the morning of Easter.

Even now says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.  Jl 2:12-13.

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