Learn to Do Good

March 2, 2021

Each day during Lent, I will be highlighting a Lenten Word (or phrase) of the Day from the readings of the day. I encourage you to reflect on this word or phrase and incorporate it in your prayers today.

Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. (from Isaiah 1:16-20)

LEARN TO DO GOOD: I am going to take some liberties here by making an assumption. I am going to assume what is meant by “learn to do good” is choose to do good. The fact is, rarely do inappropriate behaviors, sins, or “misdeeds” occur because we didn’t know better. If that were the case, the word ‘learn’ in Isaiah would indeed be accurate.

The fact is, much of our sinfulness occurs “with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” (CCC 1857) We know it is wrong and yet, for whatever reason – selfishness, immediate gratification, expediency, etc. – we choose to do it anyway. After the fact, the twinge of conscience or the uncomfortable feeling in our heart confirms we erred in judgment.

I end nearly all of my prayers with this hope, “May everything I do today and always be done to glorify You.” This is a final plea for help: Help me overcome my own selfish desires.

In nearly all instances, we know what “good” is. When put into situations when we must choose between that good and any number of alternative (and possibly more desirable) acts, God urges us to learn (choose) to do good.

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