Lenten Reflection (Sr. Therese Lenehan OP)
Our Mission Statement as Dominican women challenges us to witness to the liberating word of God. The Scripture Readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent provide us with that same challenge. We are invited to be witnesses of God’s attributes of compassion, mercy and unconditional love.
The contrast of the positive versus the negative is clearly portrayed in today’s readings.
In Chronicles we see how the religious and political leaders and the people of Judah have “added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations.” Yet God’s response to their atrocities was to “send his messengers to them early and often – because he had compassion on them.” Is it not the same with us today as we are challenged to witness to the goodness in each person rather than judging and demeaning them for their shortcomings?
Again in Ephesians, God gives us the invitation, because of his great love for us, to turn from our sinful ways and receive his rich mercy – for by grace we have been saved. The pleasures of the world are often wrapped in attractive packages, but God’s invitation is to accept and use God’s gifts to us, ” for we are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ for the good works God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”
John in the gospel assures us that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved by him.” God continually offers us his grace, but leaves us free to choose light over darkness. However, God promised that whoever lives the truth – VERITAS – comes to the light, so that their works may be seen as done in God. Is this not the desire of all God’s chosen ones?
Can we take God’s challenges this week and “Dress for Success” daily, by “putting on as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved… compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience, bear with one another, and if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other… and on top of all these put on LOVE, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (C0l.3: 12-14)
What a way to live out our Mission Statement, witnessing to the liberating word of God!
Therese Lenehan, OP