FRIDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT
Those that know me well, (or even not so well), know that I speak lovingly and honestly about my two little loves, Riley (2.5 years) and Hudson (1.5 years) who keep me always on my toes and constantly attentive to the moment at hand. Between middle of the night snuggles, around the clock diaper changes and potty training, books and blocks and balls and trains, I find little time to be attentive to anything else. And when that little time does present itself, my husband Mike and I tag team as best we can to tackle the laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning and all other mundane, ordinary demands of family life, while still remaining committed to our own careers. Very rarely do I find time for grand gestures of love and sometimes I fear that yet another day has ended and I've found myself too busy to love the family around me, let alone students, lets alone friends, LET ALONE GOD.
The season of Lent invites us to consider more deeply the ways in which we pray, fast and give as methods of understanding and responding to God with us in a most radical and transformative way. Perhaps in its most simple and pure form, my vocation, my response to God's love, is to treasure and nurture my little family unit, and so perhaps it seems fitting that my reflections on my Lenten journey begin with them. In what ways have I prayed for and with these beautiful people I so easily take for granted? From what people, places or things have I chosen to fast so as to call my attention more purely to my family unit? In what ways have I chosen to give of my time, my talents or my treasures to more radically respond to God's love for me?
Today's Gospel commands us to love God with ALL of our being, and to love those around us with equal vigor. And this love isn't passive. This radial love for the God who so intimately surrounds us demands prayer....real, honest, vulnerable conversation. This radical love demands that we take leave of those things that distract us from God here with us. And this radical acceptance of love and “yes” to love invites us to give and give and give of all of those treasures that God first entrusted to our care. So then maybe grand gestures of love and grandiose Lenten promises miss the mark altogether. Maybe it's really all an invitation to slow down a little, notice the radical, yet ordinary love of God that is already all around us, and say “yes”.
Julie McCourt is a Campus Minister.