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A Jesuit Catholic University
in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

March 17th, 2014

Tin Nguyen

More often than not, many people perceive Lent as a time to set aside their selfish desires and make room for God. For Lent, people “give up” things, and during those forty days, they devote every fiber of their being to avoiding those things – they refrain from “doing”.

Today’s Gospel brings to life a slightly different focus, which involves two fundamental verbs: “to do” and “to be”. In this passage, Jesus advises his disciples to stop judging and condemning, but foremost, he emphasizes providing mercy and giving to others. He advises action – “to do”.

Now, making room for God is more than just setting aside a vacant little spot in your heart for the Lord; it means welcoming him with open arms and showering him with hospitality. You can’t accomplish that by just doing, although that’s a logical first step. You welcome God by becoming and being hospitable, by being a person of goodness, virtue, and love.

“We are what we repeatedly do,” proclaimed Aristotle. According his philosophy, Aristotle believed that one could become more virtuous by doing more virtuous acts, like developing a habit. Then the habit just becomes a part of you. That’s how doing transforms into being, and it’s amazing because psychological learning theories say, “Yes, it works!”

I’ve often heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit out of something. Then again, it could be longer. But Lent is forty days, and you’ve got 27 days left! So take some time to give a try – turn your “Lenten To-Do” list into a “Lenten To-Be” list!

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s day, everyone.

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