Friday after Ash Wednesday
February 16, 2018
Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and contemplation as we look inside ourselves and ask, “Are we living our lives to please those around us or to please God?” When I was a young child Lent was a time to sacrifice something that I would miss. Chocolate, TV, and giving my allowance to the poor are a few things I recall. I knew God would be pleased! Simple times back then. But as adults we need to delve deeper into what really pleases God.
The reading for February 16, Isaiah 58 1-9a, tries to guide us in purposeful reflection on what fasting and asking forgiveness truly means. That we look deep inside and understand what God wants us to do. To reflect on how we are all imperfect, both in our words and actions. That our good deeds and kind words are not done for public acclaim but because that is what we should do.
Putting money into the collection box or dropping off a bag of clothing for the poor are helpful but God expects more from us. God wants us to do the real work. Maybe we could go help make sandwiches at McAnthony’s window? We need to seek out those people who are marginalized, and without judgement help them with food, clothing, and shelter. We are all the same in God’s eyes, no matter the circumstances. So for me, Lent is a time to pray and remind ourselves that the quiet action and spirit of love in all our deeds is what God is pleased by.
St. Anthony Parishioner (lector and altar server coordinator)