The Word of God

Name Changer

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 11, 2019

“On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.” If there is such a thing as a science of belonging it would most certainly have to include behavior as an essential element of what it means to be part of something much larger than life itself. Today in the Scriptures, this belonging has to do with the Family of God in faith and acting in certain modes of belief that causes an entire group of people to stand apart from the rest. This is what is actually meant by “holy.” This is precisely where our modern-day understanding and practice of fasting and other Lenten practices have originated, especially the actual marking of ashes on the forehead. This clearly sets us apart as a group of people with the same or similar mindset and definitely the same goal: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”   

“No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations.” Such an acceptance of so universal an invitation makes a definite and indelible change within the individual and the whole people. Such was the case with Abram who became Abraham. The same happened to Saul who became Paul and Simon who became Peter. All had their name changed because their entire destiny and future had undergone a magnificent and overwhelming overhaul. Lent is the same for us. Hopefully, by now, we can sense these deep-rooted changes to our hope and our direction toward Heaven. We are so close to our goal this year!

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. Soren Kierkegaard

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