Friday of the Second Week of Lent
The parable in today’s Gospel shows us God’s plan of salvation for all. He takes the initiative; he is not thwarted by noncompliance. He plants the vineyard and sends caretakers; they are not accepted. He sends his son. He is murdered. Result: God entrusts his vineyard to others; hence the Church.
What a wonderful gospel to reflect upon on the first Friday of the month, the day special to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And how coincidental it is that the first reading helps us focus on this feast. Joseph, the beloved son sold by Judah, is the image of Jesus, the savior of his people.
As the gospel shows us, the Father sends Jesus to save all mankind by his death. He is the beloved Son, who accepted death to redeem us, to make us coheirs with his Father. The Sacred Heart is the symbolic image of Jesus’ divine and human love for each of us. Pray to the Holy Spirit today for a deeper insight into this mystery.
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.