What makes us weary this Lent? Where do we find ourselves tired, no longer turning to God but instead false substitution?
In our first reading, Ahaz lacks faith. Surrounded by war, he decides he will ask an enemy for help. God is weary with him, though does not give up. Instead, God promises a sign of hope. He remains steadfast in love even when Ahaz turns elsewhere for comfort.
Even if we do not turn to an “enemy,” the daunting nature of cultural and structural change can cause despair. I am tempted to despair how slowly it takes us as individuals (including myself) and institutions to commit to racial justice. If I am being honest, I vacillate between the “yes” of Mary and the “no” of Ahaz daily because Ahaz’s response feels more immediately comforting.
Like God does with Ahaz, God does not give up on us. God sees that there are so many things that make us torn and tattered, weak and weary. God comes to us in a profoundly new way: God lovingly looks down on our weariness and enters the world. The angel Gabriel’s announcement is that sign that God can never tire in loving us.
As we continue to work for justice, as God did through Jesus’ ministry with the poor and marginalized, let us honestly examine ourselves to see the ways we vacillate between Ahaz and Mary. There, in the rawness of our lives, we might find God faithfully offering us steadfast love for our journey.
- What helps me turn to God for steadfast love? How did God show that love to me this week?
- What tempts me to turn to what is comfortable or easier in the moment? How ought I recommit myself to God and to others today?
Lucas Sharma, S.J., is a deacon of the Jesuits West Province and a graduate student at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. He is currently serving as a deacon at St. Ignatius Parish in San Francisco, CA. Lucas serves on the boards of Seattle University and JVC Northwest working especially in mission and equity initiatives. When not studying, Lucas loves to cook and watch the soap opera General Hospital.