“Remember the marvels the Lord has done.”
How difficult can it be to remember the marvels of the Lord? How hard can it be to see His goodness among pain and suffering? How can we look at his marvelous deeds in the midst of mourning and of Lent?
Throughout the readings today we see both the themes of suffering and mourning. We see the suffering of Joseph, as he is sold by his own brothers into slavery in Egypt. We see the sin of his brothers which brought Jacob to mourn deeply. We see the suffering of the servants in Jesus’ Parable of the Tenants, who are hurt and killed. We see the sin of the tenants towards not only the servants but the son of the landowner, which will lead to his mourning. These readings are riddled with the sin of death and mourning of loved ones. Yet, we are called to remember the marvels of the Lord, because He is good and just as the psalm reminds us, He makes marvels out of pain and suffering.
No matter where we are in our healing journey, I know many of us can see the same themes of suffering, of death, of mourning playing out in our lives, whether these are fresh wounds or fading scars. But no matter where we are in our healing journey, we are called to remember. Remember the goodness of the Lord. Remember the ways in which He used Joseph in Egypt to save the multitudes. Remember His plan for salvation through Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Remember the many little blessings the Good Lord has granted us. Remember the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which He has given us so that we can start anew. Remember the opportunities He has given us to turn back from sin, to seek out the good, the true, and the beautiful, and above all, remember the many ways in which He allows us to honor and love our children.
We are all called to the desert with our Lord during Lent, and it can be hard to face the desert in our lives, especially if our desert is filled with mourning. Our Lord doesn’t promise us a easy Lent, just like He didn’t make any promises of an easy path for Joseph to arrive at his final destination. The Lord does walk with us, guiding us, suffering alongside us, and using all that we are for His greater glory. “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son; so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life” John 3:16. These are the words before the Gospel, and it demonstrates the promise of God’s marvelous deeds. These deeds didn’t happen with ease, they didn’t happen without suffering, but they brought us to redemption through Christ’s Passion.
So let’s move through the desert this Lent, while remembering the sacrifice Jesus endured for us, and trusting in God’s amazing mercy and forgiveness to redeem everything. Let’s remember all the marvels that the Lord has done and continue to do in us and through us. Let’s seek to be fruitful as Christ calls us to be in our deeds and in our words, whether we are committing to a greater participation in the sacraments, or fasting from those things which keep us the furthest away from God, or giving of our gifts to those in need. This Lent can be an opportunity for healing and to see the many ways God is working in your life, so remember his marvelous deeds and seek out His will and you will see the many fruits and graces that He will bring forth.