Already I realize the need for some slight alteration in my Lenten writing discipline. Providing the readings early in the day seems to make more sense than later in the day or the next day. Consequently, my post will be a reflection on the prior day and a comment on the readings for the current day. I will try to post early in the morning.
First Sunday in Lent–not, I remind you, a day counted in the 40 days of Lent, as every Sunday is an “Easter” Sunday. Like so many parishes, our Sunday liturgy began chanting the Great Litany, a liturgy reserved, at least in my practice, for the first Sunday of Advent and Lent (I suggest in private devotions it may merit more frequent use). Certainly a great way to cause us to pause and remember what we are about. Having previously mentioned a bit about the readings for the day, I note here the vigor with which the children offer the dismissal each Sunday. The small children join the clergy in the retiring procession and, with great gusto and enthusiasm, proclaim, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!” A practice instituted accidentally at my last parish, it stirs my heart and causes me to remember what we are about every Sunday. Yesterday was no exception.
Readings for Day 5 of Lent: http://www.lectionarypage.net/WeekdaysOfLent/MondayFirstWeek.html#ot1
The parable from Matthew 25 is, I believe, one of the most instructive passages in the New Testament. Popularly known as the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, it is a challenge to live our lives not in search of some reward or recognition, but as an expression of our complete commitment to the grace of love of God made real through our lives. Moses, in the Leviticus reading provides some practical instruction in achieving the aspiration in Matthew. Moses reminds us, “The law of the Lord is perfect and revives the soul; The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light to the eyes.” We just have to keep our souls and hearts and eyes open!