Ever notice how things break down. Sometimes more than one thing breaks down at a time. We are in a pickle. Sometimes we do not have the money to repair something and are desperate to get to work or home.
Here comes the first reading of the day from Isaiah “Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,“Restorer of ruined homesteads.”
In our spiritual life we have a need for all these “R” words and the holy season of Lent is our time to use all of them. It can be as simple as availing ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. At my Church we had a communal penance service along with distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday, this week.
Isaiah speaks of all these but also speaks of the Sabbath and our attitude
If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
One of my grandfather’s was a farmer who would stay up every night in the winter to watch the fire in the fireplace and make sure that an ember did not cause a house fire. My mom said that he would only cat nap during the day because he experienced a family member dying in a tragic house fire. My wife, Anna, who was a nurse and I have worked on Sunday’s for a good portion of our lives but the work part is not what Isaiah is addressing. It is our attitude. Following our own selfish pursuits. Our attitude needs to be about every one of His people from the Pope down to you and I. It is about community. We are all sinners and could do better. Everyday we live is a holy day to the Lord. Lent is not about ourselves. It is a community journey of repair.
In Parkland, Florida, one of the striking news photographs of the shooting on Wednesday was a mother hugging her child. The thing I noticed most was the cross made from ashes on her forehead and a heart necklace. Valentine’s Day, Ash Wednesday and another mass shooting all on the same day. What a strange day!
In our Gospel, Jesus is talking about the same thing as Isaiah. In Luke,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
Yes as I said earlier we are all sinners and all in need of repair. In the Verse before the Gospel today is EZ 33:11
I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.
As we repair our spiritual lives this Lent, think about someone you know who was just fired from a job, lost a loved one or is going through hard times. I am not telling you what to say just reach out to them. The repair is for us as a community.
Reading: Isaiah 58:9B-14; Psalm 86: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6; Luke 5: 27-32