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Today’s readings are all about trust.  Whom or what do we and should we trust?  The first reading from the prophet Jeremiah challenges us to trust not in human beings but in the Lord.  The prophet pictures those who trust in the Lord as trees, “planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream.” The Lord is the “living water” that nourishes and sustains us.  The same imagery is found in Psalm 1: “Happy are those who trust in the Lord…they are like trees planted near streams of water, that yields their fruit in season; their leaves never wither.” (Psalm 1:1-3).  The Torah or Law is the source of God’s wisdom and will.  We are happy when we meditate on the Scripture since reveals to us the love and the will of God.  Our meditation then calls us to action, to hear the cry of the poor.

The Gospel of Luke continues this theme of trust.  The rich man trusts in his riches and possessions but not in the Lord.  As the adage goes, he soon discovers that he cannot take his riches and possessions with him, and they do him no good in the next life.  Both the Torah and Jesus teach that the proper use of possessions is to share our wealth with the poor and needy.  Tragically this rich man was so blinded by his possessions that he could not see the poor man, Lazarus, “lying at his door…who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.”

The season of Lent is a time to renew our trust in God.  We begin on Ash Wednesday with the proclamation: “The Kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe in the Gospel.”  Jesus’ proclamation tells us that God is at hand and right beside us.  We are invited each day of Lent to turn to God and to trust God.  Also, during this season of Lent, we are called to perform righteous deeds of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.  We are called to see the poor person at our gate and to share our possessions with them.

Image: “”Living on the generosity of others” by FotoGrazio is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.