Reflections on the Readings
2nd Sunday of Lent - February 21st, 2016 - Year C
Dennis S. Hankins
The "Re" Words of Lent
In the second reading we rediscover the efficacy of the cross.
Paul reminds the Philippians that neither circumcision nor the keeping of the rigors of the law counts for anything. But what does count is a new creation through the power of the cross. The preaching of the cross is the power of God unto those being saved. (1st Cor. 1:18).
We also seek renewal of our faith in Lent through prayer, fasting, confession, spiritual reading, and reading of scripture.
Lent is a time of resetting our priorities, to seek first the kingdom of God, and to re-invite Jesus into our hearts. The life we now live, we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us so that we may have life!
Spiritual warfare is also a part of Lent. For this we put on the full armor of God which Paul describes as the helmet of salvation for purity of mind. We put on the breastplate of righteousness for purity of heart. We put on gospel shoes to be be witnesses of Christ. We carry the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of Satan. And also we take the sword of the Spirit which is the mighty word of God, and we pray in the Spirit. Thus we are fully equipped to resist the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-21)
Let us be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, and the devil will flee when we resist him in prayer, word, and witness.
Let us also ask for a personal revival this lent— for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a new and refreshing fervent love for God and neighbor. For our citizenship is in heaven, and Jesus who transforms us interiorly will one day transform our lowly bodies like unto His glorified body. (Galations 6:14)We may be the only evidence that some will ever witness that there is a God to know and a heaven to gain; so it behooves us to be a good witness of the God we love and serve.
Let us reaffirm our confession—- Jesus is Lord of my life. Jesus himself is my life, my hope, and love of my heart. Lord, renew me in thy divine mercy this holy Lent as I meditate upon thy gracious and merciful and sacred heart. Help me to always hear your voice, Jesus, and to faithfully follow you wherever you lead—for from the majestic glory the Father declared "This is my beloved Son, listen to Him." Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening; for You alone have the words of eternal life, and from you we receive true food, which is your body and true drink, which is your blood. You fill us with your life and love. How can we praise you enough, precious Jesus!
May we never be ashamed of you before men. May we count it all joy to suffer for your name. We claim your promise that you will never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus, we trust in you. Amen!
Dennis Hankins is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN. Prior to uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. E-mail Dennis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @dshankins or visit him at: www.dennishankins.com