Lenten Reflections 2017: Fourth Week of Lent

February 16, 2017

By: Scott Wright, Director, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Live as Children of Light!

In our Church tradition, Lent is a period of preparation for Easter, a time of transition from darkness to light, from the sorrow to joy, from cross to resurrection, from Good Friday to Easter. It is also a time in which the newly baptized are welcomed into the church, and experience the joy of communion.

Pope Francis’ vision is a vision of life, not death, a consistent ethic of life, from womb to tomb and everything in between. We must build a culture of life, a culture of peace, a culture of hope, where migrants and refugees, the poor and the excluded, victims and survivors, prisoners and the sick are welcomed and embraced, the death penalty and war abolished, and global systems of oppression based on greed and violence dismantled.

In the readings for this fourth week of Lent, Jesus heals the man born blind, the child near death, and the man who was crippled for 38 years. His actions create an enthusiastic following, but they also create a fierce opposition. The powerful see in Jesus a prophet who unmasks their abuse of power and authority and threatens to overturn their reign of fear. Jesus tells the people: “Don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all” (Matthew 10:26). The evil that men do in darkness will be revealed in the light of day.

Jesus’ vision is quite simple: “Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, visit those who are sick or in prison, proclaim good news to the poor.”  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Tear down the walls, build bridges, dismantle oppressive systems, end violence. Do justly – now. Love mercy – now. Walk humbly – now. “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8)