Friday, March 09, 2007

Introduction to Lauds (Lent: Week 2, Friday).

Introduction to Lauds (Lent: Week 2: Friday) - Scripture Reading (Isaiah 53:11b-12).
People of the Old Testament and even people of today regard
suffering as a punishment for sin, but our Scripture reading taken from the Book of Isaiah on the 'Suffering Servant' seems to show that suffering can have a positive purpose - "By his sufferings shall my servant justify many, taking their faults on himself."

This model was exemplified in the death of Jesus, whose suffering and death were also understood as a sacrifice for the sins of others (The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world).

The Scripture reading reminds us of Pope Benedict XVI's Lenten Message, he says that to be able to participate fully in the Joy of Easter, we must in turn 're-give' to our neighbor, especially those who suffer and in need; the renewed experience of God's Love given to us in Christ that we experience each day through our Lenten sacrifices. (Full text of the Pope's Lenten Message)

So let us reflect then; the sacrifices or penances (which for some can be a suffering) that we make during this holy season; for who are we offering it; only for ourselves or for others too?