“I will take the children of Israel from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land. I will make them one nation upon the land.” – Ez. 37:21

I’m an idealist at heart. If you had asked me about world peace and humanity working in harmony before I had read today’s first reading, I would have readily answered with all the optimism and hopefulness that springs from seeing potential. I believe in the good of humanity and its ability to share its blessings and kindness. I believe that a peaceful world could be brought about by our unification under God against the various evils that plague us. And yet, as I read God’s intentions of doing just that with His beloved nation in this first reading, His promise to unite them under Him forever, I catch myself thinking, doubting the scope of this promise – humans have so many flaws and have turned against Him so many times and continue to do so. Of course, I am taking too big a step back. I am not called to judge Humanity as a whole despite the idealistic tendencies of my personality, but the innate hope of believing in the possibility of a world in harmony under Him is something I can’t dismiss.

God may be using this broad, glorious language about how He will unite and bless His people, but I think there is a deep personal message to each of us in this promise: an invitation to live out His dream for each one of us. Lent is the perfect time to re-acquaint ourselves with how we live out God’s dream on a day-to-day basis.

I pray that we may look at the world around us through the lens of gratitude for God’s blessings. that we may see the workings of an infinitely creative God who dreamed up the fantastic reality of creation. I pray that we may wonder at the invitation He dreamed us into and grow closer to Him as we live that dream.

Where do I see God’s dream played out in the world around me? In my life? And how to I respond to that dream?

Liana Merrill