Reflection for Thursday, March 12, 2020: 2nd Week in Lent.
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|As a student, I have found myself depending more and more on the generosity and kindness of friends, family, and strangers to get me through each year. I am grateful to be surrounded by people who won't turn away from me when I need them the most. As I get older, I am even more aware of these good people, not because they suddenly appeared in my life, but because I can see now, and I am awake now. I am also aware of the barrenness and dryness that sometimes accompanies the Lenten season. This dryness I speak of finds its way into our daily lives through our preoccupation with consuming more and more; our preoccupation with our wants; our preoccupation with what we do and with what others may think of us. This dryness reminds us that we thirst for much more than material things……we thirst for wholeness.|Lent invites us to pay attention to our thirst in the here and now. What would best quench our thirst---not temporarily, but eternally? If we are open to receive it, our thirst can be quenched by the love of God. God's love can be experienced through the everyday encounter of those who rescue us from the barren desert and unclog our roots with kindness so that we may drink from the stream of hope. I ask myself, would it be so much of an inconvenience this Lent to experience sharing, caring, and connecting, especially when it comes to people who need a helping hand, or just need someone to notice their presence in this world as they sit ---metaphorically or physically--- outside our doors, gates, or borders? Regardless of where we find ourselves in this life, the readings today invite us to trust God to make things right when it's time; trust God to heal our wounds; trust God to hold us close, especially when the strength of our heart is been tested.|What do we value? Where do we place our trust? Where are we planted, and how do we get nourishment for our soul? These are some of the questions that linger within my spirit during the second week of Lent. I can't help wondering about the ways my choices can determine who I become, whom I encounter, where I will end up. I can't help wondering if my occasional emptiness this time of year, stems from trying to do all the right things for the wrong reasons, hoping that God would love me more, or that others will notice what a good Christian I am. It is almost like been planted by the stream but with blocked roots, unable or reluctant to drink from the stream. |The readings highlight what our lives may look like when we close our eyes; when we don't place our trust in God; when we don't recognize that our 'now' determines what our tomorrow will be; and when we value earthly riches over the richness of spirit. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus wasn't about admonishing those who are rich and only elevating those who are poor. The parable was about our response and witness to the human condition, our awareness of those around us, and our willingness to care beyond just our concerns. I wonder how many times I came across a Lazarus in my life and didn't notice, or postponed caring because it was inconvenient or someone else's problem. What will happen if the tables are turned and a cosmic balancing occurs? Who would tend to me? Who will heal my wounds? Who will notice me? What or whom will I reach for? Who will provide? I ask again, what do I value, and where do I place my trust?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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