Lent @ Home: Tuesday, February 23
Welcome to Lent @ Home! We believe prayer leads to action - so start your day with us in prayer, then complete the action below. Thank you for journeying with us this Lent!
Prayer of the Day
Continue reading this email or visit our Reflections webpage for a written version of this reflection!
We have entered the first week of Lent and our forty-day journey is just beginning. Lent is commonly seen as a time to give something up. But many of us may feel that we have been in a quasi-Lenten season for some time with the pandemic, and to give something up, after almost a year of sacrifices from normal living due to varying levels of quarantine and social distancing, would be just too much. If Lent was only about was some form of sacrificial action, then that might be okay, but in Sunday’s gospel we hear Jesus tell us; “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk. 1: 15). Lent is a time of repentance. It is a time when we examine our lives and strive for a change of heart; a “Metanoia”.
Our self-examination needs to include more than removing superficial practices by giving them up. Rather our aim needs to include calling to mind our sin; those proclivities that draw us away from God (envy, greed, pride, wrath, gluttony, lust, and sloth) and seek to transform them. This is a time to reach deep within ourselves and reflect on where and whether the core of our being is centered on God and to make the adjustments to ensure we are moving in the direction of a life centered on God.
In all, God wants good things for us and wants us to be drawn into the things of God. In today's first reading, Isaiah tells us that God’s word comes down from heaven like the rain and snow to achieve its end of establishing God’s kingdom here on earth. The starting point for this is through prayer. When we pray, we center ourselves and focus on God’s word, so that we may bring God’s word to life through how we engage the world. Creating a prayer space in our homes and dedicating an amount of time each day to being with God in prayer, is a good “to do” for Lent.
In the gospel, Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. At the end, he emphasizes the importance of forgiveness. Forgiveness is elemental to the Christian way of life. If we are not willing to forgive those who “trespass against us” then how can we expect God to forgive us? It is by approaching others with the healing balm of forgiveness, that we bear the light of Christ to the world. Our repentance hinges on our ability to forgive. We cannot be transformed if we are unwilling to offer the transforming gift of forgiveness to others.
Prayer: Dear loving God, as we begin this Lenten journey, guide us to meet you in prayer. May Your Word, alive and active in our world, reach our hearts and transform us with Your healing forgiveness. May it brighten those dark corners of our lives and help us to change our hearts. May it inspire us to share that forgiving light with those we meet. Amen.
Action of the Day
“This is how you are to pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Mt 6:9
Daily Activity: Offer an Our Father together. Pray it slowly and pay attention to each word and phrase.
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Content adapted from Sadlier and Catholic Relief Services resources.