Pondering for Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Part 1 of 2

Daily Office Readings for Tuesday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent: Year 2

Psalm 97, 99, [100]; PM Psalm 94, [95] Gen. 49:29-50:14; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; Mark 8:1-10

“For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is foryou. Do this in remembrance of me.’” (1Corinthians 11:23 – 24)

In the Synoptic Gospels as well as here in 1st Corinthians, Paul reports that our Lord Jesus gives us the image that he wants us to remember him by, the bread and the cup. This is what I am missing by not being able to go to Church due to the Coronavirus. I never thought I, or anybody, would give up Holy Eucharist for Lent. I miss it as does all of my flock.  Receiving Holy Communion will be so special when we celebrate it again, I hope in the not too distant future.

Part 2 of 2

Today is the day we are suppose to remember Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop of Armenia 332.  But I am also reading from a book given to me long ago as a Seminary graduation gift; Readings from the “Daily Office From the Early Church.”  Today features a sermon from Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome 461.  This sermon is specifically about Lent and I thought meaningful for us today. In part he writes; “The faithful should therefore enter into themselves and make a true judgment of their attitudes of mind and heart.  If they find some store of loves’s fruit in their hearts, they must not doubt God’s presence within them. If they would increase their capacity to receive so great a guest, they should practice greater generosity in doing good, with persevering charity.  If God is love, charity should know no limit, for God cannot be confined.” (Page 153)

If we just leave a little room in our hearts for God to enter in, God, over time, will adjust the furniture in our hearts in order that we might be more accommodating to the needs of those in worse shape than ourselves. The words “charity” and “love” are interchangeable in many of our biblical translations. The best example is in St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 13 where it is written:  “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (King James);  And, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (NIV).  Love and charity mean the same thing.  Love is expressed through charitable acts. It doesn’t matter what faith denomination or tradition one holds, love is made manifest through charity.  As we have been forced to stand down with our Church services, our charitable giving, both to our church and to the needy is of the utmost importance. If you would let God increase your capacity to receive so great a guest as God, you would practice greater generosity in doing good, with persevering charity. As Leo the Great has shared, “if God is love, charity should know no limit, for God cannot be confined.”

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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