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March 30 - Jesuits of North-West Africa Province | Society of Jesus

Thursday, Fourth Week of Lent

March 30, 2017

Ex 32:7-14; Jn 5: 31-47; Ps106: 19-23

By *Fr. Aghadi Onu, SJ

"We remember how you loved us to your death, and still we celebrate for you are with us here, and we believe that we will see you when you come, in your glory Lord, we remember, we celebrate, we believe."

How fickle and unstable the human mind is. No sooner had God brought Israel out of Egypt than they forget the deeds of the Lord. They forgot what the Lord had done for them. They sold short their freedom in exchange for the transient and momentary satisfaction of the golden calf. They were so concerned about what they see in the now that they forget the glory that lies ahead in the Promised Land.

Israel broke the first and most fundamental of the commandments: "I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other god before me."

That singular act of disobedience begins Israel's long history of rejection of their God--the harlotry of Israel by dancing around the golden calf. They forgot the good deeds of the Lord and they worshipped other gods.
Israel paid dearly for their sin. Many of the prophets came with a singular mission to call Israel back to repentance.

How like Israel of old we can be. God has given us his son Jesus for the salvation of the world. The Christian has been marked with the sign of the Christ and so cannot but follow Christ. But the attractions and distractions of the world have clouded our judgment and so we have turned them to ends in themselves---they become our golden calf and we begin to worship them and burn incense to them. How fickle the human mind is.

Lent is a season in which we are called to remember and to return to the Lord. Jesus offers the Eucharist and says, do this in memory of me. Forgetting the deeds of the Lord leads to idolatry. Forgetting breeds ingratitude. Lent offers us opportunity to bring to memory all that the Lord has done. We also recall where we have misplaced our priorities and where we have replaced the one true God with the gods of our own creation, i.e. our many golden calves.

Our holy founder, St Ignatius wrote to Rodriguez 'Ingratitude is the most abominable of all sins and should be detested in the sight of our creator and Lord by all his creatures who are capable of enjoying His divine and everlasting glory."

One powerful instrument to remembering and returning to the Lord is the examen as proposed by St Ignatius. Through the daily examen, we are able to remember the deeds of the Lord and to respond in the affirmative to the invitation of the Lord to remember him always. We remember, we celebrate, we believe.


*Fr. Aghadi Onu, SJ is the Chaplain of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL) Chaplaincy in Lagos, Nigeria.  

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