February 15, 2021
by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's Jesuit Community Community
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 335

Genesis 4:1-15, 25
Psalms 50:1 and 8, 16bc-17, 20-21
Mark 8:11-13

Praying Ordinary Time

Preparing for Lent - 11 min. - Text Transcript

How Come I Fear Lent?

Over time I have come to realize that children under the age of 4 or 5 have taught me more about being human than anything else, although it took the words of Jesus for me to recognize what they were showing me.

I am thinking most especially, in looking at today’s Gospel reading, of how a child of maybe 14-18 months will wander around the house for some time with one hand tightly grasping a bit of cheese or a Cheerio – and as grubby as his or her hand and what it contains gets after a while, he or she will not at all want to give it up.  Not even the prospect of having a dinner that you know they will like will convince them that they will be able to have something far better if they can let go of what they have.

We do not want to be free of our family ties and values in order to follow Christ more freely and closely.  Only as we learn to see our lives with Christ’s eyes can we begin to understand that in order to become the people that God calls us to be, the people that we really wish to be in our deepest hearts, we have to be willing to leave home on every level, to constantly be “off to the other towns” as Jesus wants to go – and to learn his love, his healing touch, his passion for us.  That is hard to do at home. I have seen it in my students, since those who live at home are simply living more years of high school and get significantly lower grades than those who move away to take up a new life. 

We cannot see that, in following where the Spirit leads us, will give us a whole new and mature family wherever we are, people who share our goals and enthusiasm for God.  And maybe we might even get to the point where we love everyone we meet with a love that is truly godly, a love which sees every person as a mother or a father, a brother or a sister, a little one who depends on us to show them what real love is.

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