Friday of Lent 3
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. — Galatians 1:3–5
The will of the Father that we be turned from error’s ways and be saved so that we dwell with Him forever also means that we are to be delivered from this present evil age. In this, God teaches two things: First, that this world is not our home and is not where our true treasure and inheritance lies. We’re sojourners here who refuse to assimilate and so be conformed to the world. Secondly, it teaches us that this present age is evil. The age God speaks of through the Apostle are last days we live in even now since the ascension of Christ. It is a great temptation to be swayed by “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches,” and consider this world to still be very good as God declared it prior to sin. To succumb to this temptation would be to disbelieve the Word of God. No, it is as St. Paul says above and as the first stanza of the 12th century hymn, “The World is Very Evil,” reminds us:
The world is very evil, The times are waxing late; Be sober and keep vigil, The Judge is at the gate; The Judge that comes in mercy, The Judge that comes with might, To terminate the evil, To diadem the right.
In the world to come, we will see clearly that the Lord was not holding back on us, but had provided the very best, most precious life for us through the forgiveness of our sins and in no other way.
Dear Father in heaven, protect us from the great shame and vice of false believe and despair, and grant that our hope and trust be in the deliverance won for us by the all-availing sacrifice of Your Son on the cross. Amen.