Weekend Reflections for 2/9/18
Eat Everything They Put Out
In the first reading for this Friday's Mass (Is. 58, 1-9), the prophet castigates the people for their manner of fasting. After telling them what is so mean-spirited and woefully inappropriate in their behavior he says:
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.....
......Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
For many Christians it's often a challenge to determine what they should be doing special or different during Lent in appreciation of our Lord's passion and in preparation for the Sacred Triduum at Lent's conclusion . A very learned and good teacher of mine, Richard Smith, S.J. addressed this matter in one of his retreats to Jesuit seminarians. In his retreats he included a question and answer session. In this retreat he was asked what kind of Lenten penance/sacrifice he would recommend. His response was, "Oh that's easy. Just eat everything that is put out on the table and don't complain." How simple, and for us, so practical. But I can assure you that it was for many young Jesuits a very challenging recommendation to put into practice.
So what is the appropriate Lenten penance or sacrifice? I suspect there are thousands of good answers, but I suggest one general guideline. Consider what it is that's going on in your life right now that is hindering your relationship with the Lord and perhaps separating you from the Lord, or a person or persons who need your care and concern. If it is something you can address in a practical and simple manner, as was the case with Dick Smith's suggestion, then I recommend you consider the challenge of doing it.
-Fr. Jim Blumeyer, S.J.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.
PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY
WOMEN'S RETREATS WITH SPACE:
March 5-8 with Fr. Francis Ryan, S.J.
March 19-22 with Fr. Anthony Wieck, S.J.