TUESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT
In today’s readings, the rabbis are jumping through all the right hoops, but so closed off to the reality of what Jesus is doing for them. In today’s world, it can be easy to slip into the mentality of the rabbis. We think that if we are taking just the right courses or have the coveted leadership position or go to the right study spot, then everything will work out the way we planned. But if we look closer, if we are really aware of the realities surrounding us, we will find that there is a much larger invitation at play. God calls us to not only go to the classes and the meetings and the libraries, but to be changed by them. God gives us tools to better ourselves every day. Instead of just going through the motions of your schedule and your studies, take a minute to realize why these things are on your resume, and whether or not they should be there to stay. Are all of our works “performed to be seen” like Jesus warns the Pharisees about (MT 23:5)? Or do they make us better people for Christ?
In today’s first reading, God doesn’t just say “be good.” He says “cease doing evil. (IS 1:4) Quite the daunting task. To me, it sounds like too large of a task to do on my own. The best part about the season of Lent is that we are in this together (cue the High School Musical soundtrack). Going in to Lent, you may have asked, “What can I do to be a better follower of Christ in the next forty days? Even in that question, we seem to make things just about ourselves. We should be asking what we can do to become a better community of believers. This means engaging Christ in your day-to-day living. In your conversations, in your studies, and in your weekends. This season of lent is not all about us. It’s about Jesus and the sanctity of His life poured out for us. Jesus did not live boasting about His good deeds or His powerful sermons. In fact, He actually spent a lot of time performing miracles and then warning people not to talk about what they had seen. Jesus invites us into the mystery and wonder of His love. He draws us closer and closer to Him each time we open our eyes and become susceptible to the beauty that surrounds us. This Lent, find yourself in awe of the community of believers you can find at SLU and in the Church at large.
Liz Vestal is a sophomore studying Social Work, currently abroad in the Philippines through the Casa Bayanihan program.