Living the Word

Losing Our Grip

"We live in an addictive society, and we need to allow the spirit of freedom to pry us free from its grip. We all long for security and happiness, and we need to free ourselves from the idols that promise both but can deliver neither." Jesuit Dean Brackley sums up the work of Lent: prying ourselves free from the false idols around us - or perhaps prying the false idols out of our hands! In the next four weeks, we will enter a process of cleansing; we will learn how to recognize and reject our false gods so that we will know Christ resurrected.

Like the psalmist, we need only listen to our hearts as we turn toward home: "'Come,' my heart says, 'seek his face!'" (Psalm 27:8). Isaiah assures us that we will find what we need; money is of no importance for the covenant God extends again: "Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price…. I will make with you an everlasting covenant…" (Isaiah 55:1, 3).

The journey of the cross, however, is not an easy one, which is why most of us would rather jump straight to the resurrection. But Paul insists that our faith is one balanced by both cross and resurrection, and he labels those who see only the resurrection as "enemies of the cross of Christ" (Philippians 3:18). In the end, there is no other way to the resurrection but through the desert, through the cross. We must be able to strip away our fancy trappings and return to God as we came from God - naked, vulnerable, powerless.

Michaela Bruzzese is a free-lance writer living in Chile.

MARCH 7
Word and Deed

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 27
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 13:31-35

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Sojourners Magazine March 2004
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