Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Readings: Isaiah 58:9b-14; Psalm 86; Luke 5:27-32
“He shall renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.”
“‘Repairer of the breach,’ they shall call you, ‘Restorer of ruined homesteads.’”
“I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,”
The images Isaiah calls to mind in today’s first reading are images of refreshment, growth, renewal, and nourishment. The Lord promises that if we turn away from sin and take care of those in need then we will receive this refreshment and growth. If we keep the Sabbath holy and do not speak ill of others we will receive nourishment like that of our ancestors. This is the message of Lent – turn away from sin, help those in need, honor the Lord, be kind to one another. If we do those things then the Lord will make our lives as fruitful as the watered garden and as everlasting as the spring that never fails.
In the Gospel we also hear Jesus speaking of healing – healing for those who are sinful and in need of repentance. Jesus is fond of hanging out with sinners because they (and by that I mean WE) are the ones who are in need of healing and salvation! For those of us who follow Christ we must look at our own lives this Lent and see where we are in need of healing. What in my life needs to be refreshed, grown, renewed, or nourished? What in my life needs to be turned away from so that I am open to receiving the loving touch of the Father? Let us be open during this Lenten season to hear the Lord’s call and respond with the words of Psalm 86: Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Assistant Director of Campus Ministry for Liturgy