Lectionary Reflections
Ordinary 7
by Lanie LeBlanc OP

It never ceases to amaze me that God is always searching for us and taking the initiative to make us whole again. In our selection from Isaiah, God tells us not to remember our sins of the past. .. something new is going to happen! Who amongst us has not been weighed down by the past, truly wishing for a completely new start on life!? Although the residue of what God forgives and erases from the Almighty's perspective sometimes remains as a smudge in our own memories, each of us is given more than one or two second chances in our lives. In fact, the opportunities are really quite plentiful. Do we, like the man Jesus healed of his paralysis of body and soul in the Gospel selection, respond by attempting a new way of walking through life?

Well, sometimes we do and sometimes we don't ! I think we take the important connection between the inner voice we have and our outward actions a bit too lightly . Jesus understood the man's dual problem and tenderly called him "child". Do we, respond as a trusting child would, eager to follow a new way, when we are given that chance? Perhaps part of the key here is the community or at least the four people who literally and figuratively supported the man as he was taken to Jesus for healing.

Day by day, life can be a maze and a most difficult one for anyone who feels a bit overwhelmed by one or more things in life. Being connected to friends and community is a way the Lord gifts each of us. We need to reach out to one another . We can lead another to Jesus. We can also be taken to Jesus, if we are in relationships of trust. We all need healing.

As we approach Lent, let us reflect on the opportunities God gives us to remedy the wrong choices we have made by beginning anew. Even one tiny step in a better direction is a new beginning ! Forgetting the past may not be easy, but focusing on the brighter future ahead of us, especially with the help of friends and community, may be just what we need to achieve the kind of life we want... and the kind of life God intends for us to have.

(Comments to Lanie at lanieleblanc@mindspring.com.)