Readings and Pondering for Sunday 10 March 2019: Lent

Liturgical Readings

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16 Romans 10:8b-13 Luke 4:1-13

Luke

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1)

My Pondering:

As very young men my brother and I would often travel with my dad on long road trips driving an 18 wheeler.  On one accession my dad and I took with us another young person I will call Boston.  Boston was under 18 years of age.

We found ourselves on a trip that would take us us through western Canada.  But we could not take Boston because he was under age with no identity as a U. S. citizen and we would not be able to get him back into the U.S.  So we bought him a bus ticket from Sweetgrass, Montana to Seattle, Washington.  My dad’s words to him (over and over) was, no matter what he was to stay at that bus station.  We knew when he would be there and we would be there the same day.  That was the plan.

Boston was tempted by neighborhood gangs, and later by a pretty girl he said, to leave the bus station and go with her.  He did not. He had my dad’s words still running through his head, “Don’t Leave the Bus Station.”  Finally, The police came to investigate him because he just hung around and didn’t seem to leave.  We were late getting into Seattle due to forest fires in western Canada.  As we were decending down a downtown street, on our left we saw two policemen talking to Boston.  My dad yelled out of the window, “He’s mine, I’m going to park and I’ll be right back.”

When we walked back to the bus station and claimed Boston I noticed that Boston had been crying.  He then shared with me the events that took place, He told me a group of young men came by and told him that he would have to leave because this was their turf.  He was afraid but had to remain at the bus station like dad said.  Next a young woman who worked there got off work and offered him her place to relax and that she would bring him back when we got there. But he stuck to my dad’s instruction to stay at the station.

He said what really broke him down was the policemen approaching and asking him for identification. He had none and the day had been long waiting for us to show up.  It was during the questioning of the police that they heard my dad’s voice say, “He’s mine, I’m going to park and I’ll be right back.”

Jesus anchored himself to the words of scripture when being tempted by evil temptation.  Three times he was tempted. Three times he remember word from scripture that kept him from straying from safety. Jesus repeated “It is written or it is said.”  Boston was tempted three times to leave the bus station. But he was anchored to my dad’s words.  All of us need words that assist us in doing what is right.  Such words may come from a hymn, or a poem or a Psalm or a Bible passage or the quote from a parent or pastor.  The main thing is that we ought to have an anchor to keep us secure during the storms and threats of life.  And when you find yourself tempted speak boldly about your conviction to stay the course.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.”  John Thomas Frazier Sr.

One thought on “Readings and Pondering for Sunday 10 March 2019: Lent

  1. A few years ago there was a plastic arm bracelet that could be purchased with the acronym “WWJD?” on it, that is :”What Would Jesus Do?”. I was given one by a friend, lavender, one of my favorite colors. For a long while it really did serve as a reminder for me to act like a Christian all the time. In fact, I felt weird to behave in an un-Christianlike manner wearing that bracelet. I didn’t want to have someone witness me not acting in accordance with the bracelet and then point an accusatory finger at me. I don’t remember what happened to my bracelet, but as time when by, I no longer kept such a close watch on my behavior. I was attending church with all its various activities, but that was about it. I didn’t feed my more intimate relationship with Jesus, so no heart-to-heart prayers, no regular personal reading of scripture, no mediation. Oh sure, I was rattling off the rosary from time to time, paying my tithe, serving at all the Masses/other services, hanging out with my church friends, but that was about it. By leaving the “Bus Station of My Soul”, which used to be open every time I glanced down at my lavender WWJD bracelet, I lapsed into the most common temptation for many of us: the “just barely getting by Christian” — looking/doing pious stuff without any real grit behind it.

    The Holy Spirit, as always, has been hangin’ out with me through all of this, and as Spirits miraculously do, began putting folks who had inviting messages in my way for me to trip over (figuratively) so that I’d finally realize it’s time to become a full Christian again, with some real substance behind me.

    Like

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