TUESDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
Nm 21: 4-9; Ps 102: 2-3, 16-21; Jn 8: 21-30
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
The book of Genesis reveals to us that God intended for the earth to be nothing short of paradise. Today, the world over, people pray in the Lord’s prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. What stops us here on earth, from being heavenly? And, what can we do to overcome these obstacles?
The Israelites, having been liberated from the clutches of slavery, were on their way to where God was leading them. Yet, giving in to the desires of the flesh, they grew ungrateful and disrespectful towards the very person who liberated them. A big obstacle between us and the experience of heavenly glory is ingratitude. By this, we turn away from the one who leads us, and are left to face the consequences of our many superficial dispositions. The very things that we take for granted are those which God has placed with much care in our lives – life, freedom of speech and thought, the capacity to build relationships, the grace of faith and opportunities to grow in it. The sacraments themselves are a rich gift from the Church to us, reuniting us with God’s spirit and helping us to experience heavenly love.
The heart of today’s gospel lies in the question of the Jews, “Who are you?” We cannot fully value the person of Christ without understanding who he is. In being grateful for his mission, sacrifice and presence, we can come to a deeper understanding of our own mission here on earth. Jesus says he does what is pleasing to the Father, and just as he loves his own to the end, so does the Father, through him, love us to the end. Are we capable of loving God to the end? Or like the Israelites, do we give up, get frustrated and falter? The best news is that God is willing to forgive and accept us, as long as we consciously reconcile ourselves unto him and adopt an attitude of gratitude for all that he has done for us.
Response: O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
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