15 Mar 2020. 3rd Sun Lent. Cycle A-2020. Ex 17:3-7 + Rom 5:1-2, 5-8 + Jn 4:5-42

Tested the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord in our midst or not?’ (Ex 17:7b).

“TESTING GOD consists in forcing Him to act. The challenge… wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord… harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power” (CCC, §2119; cf. Ex 17:2-7).

Testing God — when one has experienced His power repeatedly, or it has been revealed to him authoritatively (cf. Ps 78:1-7, 12-16; 95:9), yet he hardens his heart (cf. Ps 95:7b-11), demanding enough signs to meet one’s standard of belief (cf. Ps 78:17-20).

Testing God — when he sets a condition of his faith in God in divine intervention, lest he lets fate prevail (cf. Jud 8:15-27).

Testing God — when, in impatience (cf. Ps 106:13-15), he sulks into spiritual indifference when favors asked are not granted.

Testing God — in presumptuous confidence that his soul is saved because he lives righteously enough (cf. 1 Cor 10:1-12)

Testing God — when he continues to rebel against God—to lead a sinful life—despite receiving favors from Him (cf. Ps 78:17; Nm 13:10-13).

Testing God — in presuming that His mercy catches up with his wickedness (cf. Jas 4:13).

God loathes anyone challenging his power. “They tried me though they had seen my works… they do not know my ways… “

They shall never enter my rest (Ps 95:9-11).

They shall not see prosperity and peace in the land (cf. Dt 6:16-19),

They shall die slowly (Ps 106:15). VSS

Covid-19 is a plague that has thrown the world into Panic Pandemic.

Like agitated ants, the people are scampering in different directions, not seeing where the plague comes from, nor knowing whom it hits.

There is no antidote for its attack. One by one, someone falls, defenseless, helpless, and lifeless. “Never before had we seen anything like this,” the people wail.

Unless the Lord guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch” (Ps 127:1b)

Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil; this will mean health for your flesh, and vigor for your bones” (Pv 3:7-8).”

President Trump wisely invites the most powerful, though helpless, nation to a National Day of Prayer today. There is a God who is in control when we cannot. Try Him. Stop mocking Him, and plead for His mercy. VSS

Picture credit: Soldier flogs and mocks Jesus; from pinterest.co.uk.