Saturday of the first week of Lent, 2023

    March 4, 2023

    “Behold, now is a very good time, behold, now is the day of salvation.”

    This verse, read before today’s Gospel at Mass, might be a wake-up call for us, if we’ve yet to focus on our plans for Lent. What could be more beneficial for our ministry than to remember that our salvation is at hand?

    Today’s reading from Matthew can help us focus. It’s concise and very direct: Love everyone… no exceptions! But that can seem challenging, as the world creates more hurting people for us to love each day. We need all the Spirit’s help we can get.

    Perhaps our Lenten goal might be to follow Jesus’ advice and “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” But that’s challenging. What would being perfect look like? How do we go about learning to be perfect? One way to start is to consider these simple thoughts: What would Jesus think? What would Jesus say? How would Jesus act?

    Starting today, we make Jesus our Lenten role model. We begin by striving to love everyone. Everyone includes those who create the very challenges we are called to remedy each day. While this may seem like a Herculean task, we can remember to call on the Spirit, who can help us think like Jesus, speak like Jesus, and act like Jesus. Should we do that, we’ll have the confidence of knowing Jesus as our ever-present companion on our journey toward perfection.

    Lenten blessings!

    Stan Fitzgerald served with Catholic Charities for many years. Currently, he’s active in social justice ministries, promoting the Synod, and the Faith in Action team at Christ the King Church in Walnut Creek, California. Stan also delights in being a member of an Ignatian Companions group.

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