Saturday of Lent 3, March 30, 2019

March 30, 2019
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“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”

This week, we have been journeying through this litany’s call to confession of how we have not loved ourselves well and how this has spilled over into all of the relationships in our lives.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways,

and our exploitation of other people,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration,

and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and

our dishonesty in daily life and work,

We confess to you, Lord.

Monday of Lent 3: Our baptismal covenant vow to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself” (Baptismal covenant, BCP 305) calls us to think about how our culture’s consumer-driven life-style can exploit our neighbors and ourselves. When we choose to indulge in self-gratification without thinking about the workers, the industry that makes or supplies, or appetites for things and foods, we run the risk of not living as fully into our baptismal covenant as we might.

Tuesday of Lent 3: Our baptismal covenant vow to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” also calls us to love ourselves well. When we turn anger at our frustrations inward, it’s hard to seek and serve Christ within us. This anger blinds us to the source of our frustration, which, if we are able to be patient and examine it, might contain a vision of how we can better love our neighbors and ourselves.

Wednesday of Lent 3: “Loving our neighbor as ourselves” is a way of positively stating the commandment of “don’t covet” (Exodus 20:17). When we envy what our neighbor has, our vision is split between looking at what our neighbor has with inappropriate longing and looking at ourselves in judgment. Our baptismal call to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” calls us to love each other regardless of what others have that we don’t in order to rejoice in the gifts God has given to each of us.

Thursday of Lent 3: When we are tempted to buy into our culture’s call to a life of luxury beyond what is necessary for our health and well-being, we run the risk of believing that things or comforts will bring us the peace and joy that we desire. When we love these comforts more than our neighbor or our own wholeness, we will struggle to love God and our neighbor with our whole being.

Friday of Lent 3: Envy, self-indulgence, or an “intemperate love of worldly goods” can lead us to be tempted to take dishonest short-cuts in our life and work. Yet we are given work to do, whether it is paid work or volunteer work, and lives to live for the common good. When we lose sight of living for the sake of others so that all might live, it’s easy to stumble into the temptation to be dishonest. And once the first dishonest action is done, the next time is easier.

 

In what ways have we been lured into self-indulgence or an inappropriate love for things and pleasures? 

 

When have we been tempted to envy others? 

 

What causes us to lose our patience with ourselves? 

 

How has our life been more shaped by envy and anger rather than rejoicing with others and seeking to find solutions to those things that frustrate us?

 

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Collect for Ash Wednesday)

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