March 14, 2022 – Monday in the Second Week of Lent
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/031422.cfm)
Prophets are servants of God who proclaim God’s message for the people. Yet, because of the radical of the prophets to abusive and corrupt leaders, they were persecuted and killed. This was what happened to the prophets sent by God to Israel. However, the leaders of the people rejected the call to conversion and continued their corrupt practices and worshipping of other gods. This led to the destruction of the nation. The leaders of the people led the whole nation towards death.
This what Prophet Daniel recognized in our first reading today. He too expressed his intercession on behalf of the people who had been exiled in a foreign land after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The destruction brought people to be dispersed and many of them became slaves. When the Temple was destroyed, the people felt that God abandoned them since the Temple was an assurance of God’s presence.
However, instead of blaming God for abandoning them and letting that terrible event in their life to happen, Daniel, being shamefaced, realized their unfaithfulness towards their covenant with God. Daniel who prayed on behalf of the people recognized how they have turned their eyes blind and ears deaf towards the prophets whom God sent to their leaders.
The leaders and the people continued to break their covenant with God by oppressing the weak among them and worshipping other gods. The leaders became cruel and shameless. All they thought and aspired was for their benefit and comfort of their families and close friends. This led them to worship other gods, the gods of other nations whom they thought were more powerful because of the seemingly riches and influence they enjoyed. However, they were indifferent to the plight of the poor, the sick, the orphans and the widows. And such belief and way of life became a culture among the people. Thus, it was them who actually distanced from God.
And all of these came to the mind of Daniel. He remembered their sins and failures, the reason of the great shame he felt. Moreover, with this recognition of their unfaithfulness and sins, Daniel also saw how God remained faithful to them despite everything. Daniel acknowledge that God is compassion and forgiveness. Indeed, God remains merciful.
In this Season of Lent, may we always realize God’s mercy upon us that despite our unfaithfulness and sins, God remains for us, because God is Mercy. This invites us now to become merciful, to express that mercy in the way we relate with one another and in the way we live our very life. And when prophets of today calls us to recognize our failures and sins, may we not resist but heed the call of conversion that leads us to embrace God’s mercy and offer of freedom from sin and death.
Indeed, mercy shall give us freedom from shame, and life from the death caused by our sins. Let mercy be the very measure to be returned to us. Hinaut pa.