Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Beginning of Lent

Today we begin Lent, tomorrow the  Lunar New Year. A  pastoral bulletin gives us 11 resolutions from  Pope Francis that were taken from Facebook. They would make a good beginning for Lent and the New Year.

(Don't Gossip) (Finish my meals) (Make time for others) (Choose the  more humble purchase)  (Meet the poor) (Stop judging others) (Be friends with those you disagree)  (Don't be afraid to say "forever")  (Make it a habit to "ask the Lord") (Be happy) (Forget what others did wrong to me)

We are all on a journey living in a beautiful boardinghouse for a short period of time.  We have not built the world and are living in this world without any demand for rent.  And it is clear that we are not the owners of the house.

We know we are here for an indefinite period of time. Not for 3 or 4 days but for about 70 to 80 years and we leave. We tend to forget that this earthly journey will come to an end.

The owner of the boardinghouse quietly looks over what is going on. The travelers prepare their room as if they were the owners, and  if other travelers want to look at the room there is a price to pay. At times there is a  fight to take another person's room, and even  do harm to the other fellow travelers.

The owner has given us everything free: the sun , air, water and even the rooms we use, but we demand a price for their use from each other.

We are all travelers. The kind hearted owner had  given us the use of these facilities and wouldn't it be wonderful if we had the use of what the owner has given to all of us. We are only on this journey once. 

Today in the Masses within the Catholic world we received ashes on the forehead reminding us that our bodies will return to the earth from which we came. Life is short;  in the Gospel we are reminded to work in becoming  better tools: by thinking of others, communicating with God in our prayer life,  and  opening ourselves to receiving the graces he continually bestows by preparing the container with asceticism-- a word we are embarrassed to use.

The Holy Father in his Lenten message has warned us of the globalization of indifference.  He has selected three sentences for us to meditate on for this Lent: If one member suffers, all suffer together” (Cor.12:26). “Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9) “Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8) We have here more than  enough matter for meditation.                                                                                                                               

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