He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph.
Jesus came to fulfill what Isaiah had written about centuries before. Isaiah writes about a ‘bruised reed.’ and a ‘smoldering wick.’ Jesus came, not to destroy the reed or put out the wick, but to take brokenness and the smoldering away. Jesus has healed and re-ignited us. Jesus has brought us into the Kingdom, into lives vastly differently.
As we journey through this Lenten season, we reflect and act on our call to be true citizens of the Kingdom, to live up to our call. We look at our inward selves and our outward actions and reform them through more ardent prayer, sacrifice, study, worship, and giving. We come to really connect with the fact that those in the Kingdom live like this year-round, not just during Lent.
Over the past two weeks we have been reminded of our healing from our bruises and how we have been re-ignited to passionately partake in God’s work. We live in the reality that we have been made new, whole, and on fire for the gospel, and to do each day all that this status entails.
We have been called to continue to be different, to fully live the Kingdom life and call others to be saved, to share in this Kingdom life which is vastly different from that of the world.
Today, St. Paul speaks of what happened to many of the people of Israel as they journeyed to the promised land. Most were struck down because of their unfaithfulness, and that fact was written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.
Now here is the key element for us who were bruised and smoldering before our entry into the Kingdom life – do we wish to continue to live?
Jesus presents us with a stark reminder of our obligation as Kingdom people. We live to bear fruit. We have been healed, we have been re-ignited, we are whole and new, and the gospel path is before us. We must never lose the passion to live differently, to walk the gospel path in the footsteps of Jesus. We must not grow weary and say, no fruit today. Yes, God’s expectations are high because His promise for us is great.
Being committed as Kingdom people to be the difference that draws others into the Holy Church, the Kingdom life, being the change necessary to transform the world is our mission. Jesus has made us whole for a reason, and this is the reason – the bearing of abundant fruit. The consequences of being barren are a warning to us.
Let us then take advantage of Jesus’ mercy – this time of allowance, this Lent, for the change needed to bear fruit. As our Entrance Hymn taken from Isaiah says: Happy the just, for it will be well with them, the fruit of their works they will eat.