Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

Today's Mass Readings


I am reminded of a homily that our Fr. Aquinas gave after reading the gospel account of John the Baptist’s martyrdom. He said “Mark is the only gospel writer who says ‘Herod enjoyed listening to him [John].’ It just proves that God even loves Herod so much that he tries to penetrate the hardest of hearts! God never gives up on us, and we should never give up on Him. Jonah tells the people of Nineveh that if they do not repent, “forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed!” The king, realizing this, tells the people to fast and pray. What happens next? God sees this, and “he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.” If only Herod could have done the same, we hear in our responsorial psalm today, “A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.”

I know in my life there are times that I am humbly reminded that I am not the greatest monk. I am reminded of two things that Abbot Gregory told me when I was a junior monk, “Br. Maximilian, we come to the monastery because we are sinners, and we are in constant need of God’s help. We come to the monastery to die because, even when we are at the point of death, we still need God’s help.”

I ask you today, can you let go and let God? Can you let Jesus take the wheel in your life and let him drive you up the path of Eternal life? Or do you still have that attitude of “I think I can do this on my own!” Always remember, “He must increase, I must decrease.”

Reflection by Br. Maximilian Burkhart, OSB

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