Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Jeremiah in the first reading is the image of Christ, who in the Gospel predicts his death. Jeremiah tells us we live in a word of sin that causes tension, even sometimes to the point of suffering.
We know the formula: “Pick up your cross and follow Jesus.” We do not know when we will be called follow him or how, but we are assured that when and if that time comes, we will be coached by the Holy Spirit and that Jesus will be at our side.
Lent is the time when we learn this lesson. It is when we follow Jesus to Jerusalem. Lent makes no sense apart from that. But it leads to Easter that is why it is a season of joy. It is the time when we participate in the victory of Jesus in his ressurection. Let us remember that as we witness the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in the Islamic world and as we participate in the Eucharist.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.