I remember as a kid being told that I had to give up something for Lent. I would sit around with my brothers and sister and my cousins and we would all declare what we were giving up. Then we would spend Lent keeping each other in check. Making sure we didn’t cheat. The author of the letter to the Philippians tells us we have to give up everything to become one with Christ. The letter is pretty clear, it is not through following the law or through our self proclaimed righteousness that we find Christ. Rather it is living in Christ. It is not through worshiping at the foot of the Cross, but by taking up the Cross.
One of our FAN staff members, Sr. Maria, just returned from spending a week in Honduras. She shared about seeing the most horrific poverty and hunger. Maria heard stories about small farmers having their land stolen by wealthy landowners and they left with their families to starve. When they try to make their way north they are met with hostilities and accusations of them being terrorists, rapists, and drug smugglers. In the U.S., we hear our political leaders making statements and chanting phrases demonizing and dehumanizing these children of God, our brothers and sisters. Can we we really be living in Christ while brothers and sisters live in such conditions?
This week’s first reading from Isaiah says: “Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” In Matthew 9 it says: “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined.” Twentieth century visionary, Buckminster Fuller said: “In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.” Maybe for Lent, we should consider giving up our old ways, our existing paradigm. Maybe instead of giving up junk food or coffee, we should be part of the creation of something new. St. Angela of Foligno, a 13th century Franciscan mystic, said: My soul in an excess of wonder cried out: ‘This world is pregnant with God!’ Wherefore I understood how small is the whole of creation- that is, what is on this side and what is beyond the sea, the abyss, the sea itself, and everything else- but the power of God fills it all to overflowing.” Imagine being part of building a new creation, a new Earth pregnant with God, being a mirror of God, and overflowing with God. What would that new creation look like for you? What would it look like for the people of Honduras? Have courage, for in Matthew 28:20 Jesus says: “I am with you always…”
FAN Executive Director
Read the first reading from Isaiah 43 again and pray on it. Consider what would a new creation look like for you.
May we strive every day to create heaven on earth in everything we do, we pray…
In thanksgiving for the mercy God shows us each day, we pray…
By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God,
may we walk eagerly in that same charity
with which, out of love for the world,
your Son handed himself over to death.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever,