Gift: Counsel (Right Judgment) – With the gift of right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus.
Reading: Come now, let us set things right,* says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they may become white as wool. If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken! (Isaiah 1:18-20)
“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12)
Observation: Early this morning, I read the readings and really did not have anything jumping out at me, as if to say I didn’t see that God really wanted me to hear a particular part of the readings. Sure, I felt moved by the call to wash yourselves clean in the first reading, and the Gospel reading mentioned the chair of Moses, but nothing that was saying that I really needed to pay attention to a particular verse or verses. However, I took my son, Kobe, to our Communion Service this morning, and he mentioned that he didn’t understand why the presider mentioned the scarlet turning to white. I didn’t remember the presider saying that, so we went to him and asked him and he said that, and he didn’t remember it either. I knew I heard it, but couldn’t remember just where, because Kobe said it was during the sermon. So, both the presider and I explained that the scarlet color is bright and very visible, like our sinfulness and the white is meant to symbolize being made clean. However, I knew that I would have a chance to go to Mass at Saint Mary Catholic Church for lunch and did not worry about the message that I was receiving at the Communion service, which was still nothing that I could have explained at the time. I was encouraged that Kobe got something, but was at a loss for where it came from, or even what it means to me. When I got to Mass at 12:15pm, I heard the first reading read again, and I heard the reference to the scarlet being made white, but it didn’t stop there. Father Liam’s homily started out with the words, “We should hear in the first reading about the seeing the scarlet sins turned to white, a reminder of how we could see this season of Lent cleansing the sin from our lives.” It was kind of awesome how my son had somehow picked up on Father Liam’s homily, when he was at Communion service three hours earlier. I don’t understand, but I thought it was cool.
Personification: Joy I hope that throughout the experience of the Word this morning, and during the day, I was able to display the joy that comes from not just hearing the Word of God, but actually having an encounter with God through my interactions with the reading and hearing the Word of God being read today. It is the simple fact that I can accept that God was trying to show me through my son that God really does want me to see my past sinfulness as washed clean, that brings about the fruit of joy in my life in a real way.
Prayer: Father, help me to continue to experience the real joy that comes from having an encounterwith your Word on a daily basis, and keep my mind open to receiving your Word as you are revealing it
. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.
- “Whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)