Monday of the second week of Lent, 2023
Today’s Gospel reading is a hard one to swallow and digest.
Jesus challenges his disciples to be merciful, to stop judging, to stop condemning, to forgive, and to be generous.
Jesus challenges us to do the same. But how can we be merciful to the person who just cussed us out? How do we stop those unspoken words that popped into our heads and labeled the person on the other side of the counter? How do we learn to see Jesus in the other person? How do we forgive the person who betrayed us? How generous do we really need to be with others?
Jesus gives the answer in the very next sentence of today’s Gospel: Give and gifts will be given to you. When we take the time to read and reflect on God’s Word and build a relationship with Him, that’s when we begin to open our hearts to the gifts of LOVE and MERCY that God has prepared for us. Our entire lives should be centered around taking these gifts and dispersing them to everyone we meet.
During the remaining days of Lent, challenge yourself to put aside the attitudes that hinder you from becoming a disciple and a neighbor. Spend some extra time talking to Jesus, sharing your daily struggles, praising Him for the good and the bad, and being grateful for another chance to try again the next day. His generosity of love and mercy will flood your heart and help you to spread His light to others.
May your light shine so brightly that others see Jesus in you!
Cynthia Quintanilla is Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Lubbock, Texas. She leads a team of eight directors at Catholic Charities, is active in community organizing, and leads the Women’s Ministry Organization at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Cynthia is also a student at the Catholic Theological Union where she is completing a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies.