fire and ice
“In the fire Azariah stood up and prayed aloud.” —Daniel 3:25
Lent is the imitation of Jesus’ forty days in the desert (Mt 4:1ff). It is a desert experience in which we undergo “a trial by fire” (1 Pt 4:12). In the midst of the flames, we are tempted to grumble against the Lord or blame other people for our trials. We must overcome these temptations and stand up in the fire to pray as Azariah did (Dn 3:25). By faith, we must face the harsh realities of our lives, repent of our sins, and commit ourselves to follow the Lord “unreservedly...with our whole heart” (Dn 3:40-41).
The fire of Lent should result in the commitment of Easter. We must not let trials turn us away from the Lord but rather to Him. “We know that affliction makes for endurance, and endurance for tested virtue, and tested virtue for hope. And this hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts” (Rm 5:3-5).
Therefore, “count it pure joy when you are involved in every sort of trial. Realize that when your faith is tested this makes for endurance. Let endurance come to its perfection so that you may be fully mature and lacking in nothing” (Jas 1:2-4). We thank the Lord for the heat and fire of the desert. It is only through this we can rise from the cold of the grave.
Prayer: Father, may I stand up in the fire and praise You.
Promise: “Good and upright is the Lord; thus He shows sinners the way.” —Ps 25:8
Praise: St. Frances desired to be a nun but her parents selected a young nobleman as her husband. Through God’s providence, her sister-in-law also had a heart for service. Together they helped the poor. She was an exemplary wife, religious sister and mother superior.
Reference: (The Gospel of Luke is rich with examples of the role women played in the life of Jesus. Explore the dynamic way Jesus interacts with the women in His life. Join us for Women in the Gospel of Luke, a retreat on Mar. 19-20. Call 513-373-2397 or register at www.presentationministries.com.)
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