Saturday of the First Week of Lent
The readings for the day can be found here.
Lent is not only a season of reflection, but a time to recognize how we can grow closer with God. Many times Lent is seen as 40 days to “give something up” that we feel we cannot live without. It is certainly important to make that sacrifice for God, but more importantly, what can we take away after the 40 days are over?
This week’s reading speaks of the faithfulness we should have to God just as he is faithful and always loving of us. The first reading says, “This day the LORD, your God, commands you to observe these statutes and decrees. Be careful, then, to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.” At times it may be difficult to have the kind of unshakable faith the scripture says we should have; maybe a medical report comes out negative, a relationship doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would, but when God puts a promise in your heart, nothing and no one can talk you out of it. All the circumstances may tell you “your financial situation will never get better, you’ll never meet the right person, never see your family restored,” but deep down, you have to have the confidence in God that he is still on the throne, still in control, and bigger than any obstacle you will ever have to face.
The Gospel touches on an important idea this week that Jesus told his disciples which seemed contrary to public belief at the time. “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” Many times it may be difficult for us to be kind to all those around us. We may try a little harder during Lent, but everything goes back to normal once Lent is finished. But God teaches us that we should love our enemies always. He doesn’t love us some days when he is feeling good then forgets about us when we make a mistake. Our God is a God of unconditional love; he is already fighting battles for us that we don’t even know we have to face yet. Our God always has a way even when we don’t see a way. This scripture is guiding us to apprehend the actions we may take to prepare us for the Lord’s ultimate sacrifice for us on Good Friday. And each of us will be faced with temptation throughout the next few weeks. For those who gave up sweets, it just seems that everyone is baking cookies left and right. For those who gave up ice cream, your roommate comes in with your favorite flavor that Fusz rarely stocks. Despite these challenges, we should have confidence that victory is in our futures. God did not bring us this far just to leave us, he has brought us through difficult times, and we know, he will do it again. That is having unshakable faith.
Michelle Palka is a sophomore in the Cook School of Business.