These days after Ash Wednesday and before the 1st Sunday of Lent give us a chance to step back and notice our priorities as we move into this holy season of deep attention to our relationship and reliance on God as we seek to recommit ourselves to the Gospel message and life.
Today’s readings remind us that the faith for which St. Justin gave his life is a faith that emerges in the experience of accompaniment, mentoring and affirming the gifts of all God’s people.
As has been said many times: “The church doesn’t have a mission. The mission has a church!”
The Easter Vigil liturgy is full of rich symbols and many Scripture readings that point towards the new life in Christ which we celebrate.
The plot to kill Jesus forced him into hiding – and, of course, we know he endured great suffering. But the promise of Easter reminds us that, in showing us the way of love in the face of hatred, Jesus has ‘turned our mourning into joy and gladdened us after our sorrows,’ as the psalm says.