Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
March 18, 2020
Today, in Mercy, on this day between the feasts of St. Patrick and St. Joseph, it seems a very good day to thank God for our heritage of faith. Our readings today remind us how precious that heritage is.
Moses, after reiterating the history of God’s goodness to Israel, enjoins the People:
Take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.
Jesus, too, acknowledges the importance of his religious heritage:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
This day between St. Patrick’s and St. Joseph’s always takes me back to my grade school days – a time when my “faith family” gifted me with the seeds that now sustain my life.
I can still see our straight-from-Ireland pastor, old as the hills, standing in the pulpit to bless us with water from the Shrine at Knock. We school kids had waited all year for a chance to belt out the hymn “Great and Glorious Saint Patrick” to the accompaniment of a thundering organ. We held our breath at the final blessing, anxiously awaiting the word to go home. It was inevitably a school holiday but we were always innocently surprised to receive it!
Then, we gathered for 8 o’clock Mass again on the 19th to celebrate St. Joseph, patron of our beloved Sisters who taught us. If we had the means to give them feastday gifts, we were asked to give canned goods. That request never struck me as a kid, but as I grew up, I realized how dependent these Sisters were on those donations – how close to poverty they lived for the sake of transmitting the faith to us.
So I count these days of mid-March as Foundation of Faith Days. Perhaps today’s reading might incline you to think about your own faith story and who planted the early seeds in your heart. Let’s give these beloveds our grateful prayers of remembrance.
Music: Faith of Our Fathers – another oldie that we loved to sing voce piena