The readings for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Is 49:14-15; 1 Cor 4:1-5; Mt 6:24-34) remind us not to be worry-warts. We cannot dwell on the past because we cannot change what has been done. We cannot focus on the future because we do not know what it will bring. All we should do is live in the present moment, striving to be a good servant of God. Jesus reminds us to seek first God’s kingdom and the other things will fall into place.
Today is the last time that we will sing “alleluia” as a Sunday assembly until we gather for the Easter Vigil. This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday which begins the Lenten season. We are encouraged to be more penitential during Lent by fasting, almsgiving, and deepening our prayer life. On Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent, we abstain from meat (beef, poultry, and pork). On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, we also fast which means eating only three smaller meals and no snacking. Some more adventurous types may wish to abstain from food all day, being content with drinking only water. You may wish to abstain from certain foods or activities during Lent. Some people give up alcohol or candy or watching TV.
However instead of looking at Lent as a time to refrain, perhaps a more positive outlook is to see Lent as a time to add to our Christian repertoire: increase the amount of time spent doing charitable activity, spend more time in personal prayer or adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, make an effort to attend Stations of the Cross or any Lenten series of talks or missions. Consider making this Lent a time of growing deeper in your faith and becoming more Christ-like. May each of us, through our Lenten discipline, learn to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.
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