Electronic Prayer Book

The Spiritual Meaning of the Days of Lent

4.2 Second Sunday in Lent

“The will of God is our sanctification” both in body and in soul. Because our own strength is but weakness in the attainment of holiness, we today implore divine Strength, that our material and spiritual beings may be defended and cleansed. If we truly desire to please God, we will, especially during this holy season, strive for ever greater progress toward perfection, guarded and strengthened by the Sacraments. During Lent we should acknowledge our weakness in more fervent Confessions and seek the strength of Christ in more frequent Communions. Pen-ance will cleanse us from evil; the Eucharist will “defend us from all adversity” of soul and body.

The Gospel of today’s Eucharistic Liturgy pictures the spiritual understanding which Lenten penance and worship bestow. As we “lift up our eyes” from the things of earth to those of heaven, we see “no one but Jesus only.” The intention of the Church, and the effect of our worship, is to concentrate attention upon Jesus. We “see” Him in the Host, the Sacraments, our work and His poor. If we “hear Him,” respond to Him and “arise” from sin, we will “not be afraid” but will press forward toward perfection in the “way” of the Liturgy.

Because Christianity is the life of sacramental union with Christ, the Liturgy advances us along His sacrificial “way.” A part of our journey lies along the Way of the Cross. By crucifixion of self we will be freed from sin; by progress along the liturgical way, we will arrive at the joy of resurrection and the bliss of the Beatific Vision.