As we were reminded at the beginning of our ceremony this morning, we have been engaged for five weeks in this season of Lent — the season when we try to undergo a deep conversion of life, a total turning around of our values and our attitudes and our actions. Now, we enter into the final week of Lent when we, perhaps, must try to even intensify our efforts — at prayer, alms-giving, acts of charity and discipline.
The lessons today are very helpful if we really want to enter into this final week of Lent with a new determination to change our lives, to undergo conversion — profound radical change, according to the way of Jesus. That’s exactly what St. Paul had said to the church at Philippi, who had begun to be lax and who had begun to be in dispute among themselves. He pleaded with them: “Have this mind in you, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was God, did not think his divinity something to be clung to, but emptied himself — underwent a total change, to become human like us in every way, even to become a slave among us.” Paul is saying: Have that kind of a mind and attitude.
Our first lesson today reminds us of how this happens. The servant says, “God has taught me, so I speak as a disciple.” A disciple is one who learns, who learns to follow. “Morning after morning, God wakes me up to hear, to listen, like a disciple.” That’s what we must be about this week, trying to listen, to hear like a disciple, to take in what God is saying to us, to let it transform us radically. It’s not just listening to the words; it’s watching Jesus, seeing his example. He speaks as powerfully through what he does as what he says….