- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

March 14, 2017

Fr. Gerard D’Souza, OCSO [1]

2nd Tuesday In Lent

How do we see ourselves? The attitude of the Pharisees and scribes offer a clue. As better than others since the problem is always out there. Because we are better we can preach but not practice. We can tie up heavy burdens and lay them on others because they deserve it. They take it too easy while we are slogging hard for the kingdom. We perform our works – the emphasis being on perform – so that others can see how wonderful we are.

But how does God see us? Wash yourselves clean and put away your misdeed before my eyes. Cease doing evil; learn to do good. Though your sins be like scarlet. We have a long way to go before we can widen our phylacteries and lengthen our tassels or take the places of honor at banquets. Our only claim to fame is that we are looked on with mercy by God.

When John the Baptist sees Jesus – He does not say ‘Behold your new pal’ but ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’ And St Paul says ‘This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst’

There is difficult shift of mind that must occur in all of us if we are to open ourselves to the love of God – we must become needy and broken. Lent is a time to pray for this shift – from our self-sufficiency that isolates us in the barren strongholds of pride to the humility of the broken who are willing to be embraced by the mercy of God.