“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
~ Psalm 95:7
This is hard work. It’s the third week of Lent and what we started with every good intention is starting to feel weighty—maybe even burdensome. What exactly did we start anyway?
Listen to the reading today from Exodus. The Israelites said the same thing to Moses when they left Egypt: “Why did you make us leave, only to die of thirst in the desert?” Worried for his people, Moses prayed with all his might; then he followed God’s command. He struck a rock and water flowed.
How does that apply to me, you ask?
We know what God wants for us: joy in giving witness to the compassion of Our Lord and, one day, a welcome home with the gift of eternal life. I understand… sometimes we feel like we’re stuck in a personal desert without a lifeline. This is where prayer helps—and sharing our feelings with people we know who are on the same journey.
The halfway mark of Lent is a good time to ask ourselves what really matters. If we want change and transformation, what are we willing to do to deepen our relationship with God? Only you can answer that question. But in my personal mission experience, I have found God’s presence at the most unexpected moments… an Aymara mother who had trouble feeding her children offering me a meal; an aggrieved young man forgiving the person who hurt him… a young seminarian choosing to work with at-risk children.
Friend, take just 10 minutes now to realize that you are in God’s presence, and in the prayers of the Maryknoll family. Ask for the help you need. Renew the process that you began just two weeks ago. And be restored for the final weeks of Lent. I am praying with you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 3rd Sunday of Lent
O God, my deliverer and redeemer,
I listen in silence for Your word
while my heart longs to hear Your voice.
As we walk these forty days
through this barren dessert of Lent
let my ears and heart be ever open
to what You have to say.
Let me rely only on Your presence
to comfort me, Your wisdom
to guide me, and Your mercy
to sustain me on my way to You.
O purify my thoughts and desires
that I might think only of You
and desire only to do Your Will
all the days of my life
till I meet You face to face
and rejoice with my brothers and sisters forever.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso