Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
How many times have we heard our parents tell us to practice what they preach? I was very fortunate to have two wonderful parents who were outstanding examples of how to be good and caring people while living their Catholic faith. Both of my parents attended Mass daily and received the sacraments often. We never started a meal without saying grace. Christ was certainly up front and center in our family. I hope that I will continue to practice what they preached by their example.
Today’s Gospel tells of those folks who preach but do not practice, and their works are performed to be seen. I’m sure we all know people in our lives that live that way today. As I get older (I just celebrated my 60th birthday in January) I’m less impressed by money or stature than I was at 30. I really don’t know if that is due to my age or having more time to contemplate what I saw as an example by my parents.
I’m also finding it interesting as to what I am now impressed with or how I want to spend my time. I value time with family and friends much more at this stage of life. When I was younger, as a single mother of two daughters, I was convinced that I had to work hard to support my family often working late or on weekends. It seemed like there was always something that had to be fixed or that I had to take care of and needed extra money for. I was seeing some of my friends traveling, or getting mini-vans (a dream of mine was to own a mini-van to easily transport my children and their friends) and I was having difficulty keeping my 10 year old car working. I was often envious of what others had instead of realizing the blessings in my own life.
I now spend four evenings a week on home hemodialysis. My women friends…some from high school and some from other places on my life journey...come to visit with me while I’m on the dialysis machine. While I can’t say that I enjoy being hooked up to a machine four nights a week to serve as my kidney, I can tell you that the time spent catching up with friends has been so very life giving and enjoyable. I’m also amazed at how willing these wonderful women are who give up three or so hours to come be with me while I dialyze.
My mother was always encouraging me to slow down and enjoy life. She was my preached example of valuing family and friends. My life has forced me to slow down so that I can appreciate it! Hopefully this Lent, we can all slow down to decide how best to include Christ in our lives and appreciate the many blessings we are given each day.
Mary Beth Erickson is Parish Center Administrator at St. Francis Xavier College Church.