Friday, March 11, 2011

First Sunday of Lent - Gospel Reflection

This morning I was running just a tad late. I thought I was doing great on time with getting ready for the day, until I had to get my lunch together and only 15 minutes before I was supposed to be at a Department Heads meeting. As I was scurrying out the door with ten minutes to make it to work (the usual amount of travel time it takes to get there) I said a quick prayer, "God, please don't let there be any stupid drivers on the road today."

By the time I parked, dropped my stuff of in my office, and headed over to the meeting I was a few minutes late. Thankfully everyone was still chatting. It is a custom to begin all of our meetings by reading the upcoming Sunday Gospel and reflecting on it using a lectio devina style (what word or phrase stick outs to you, what does that word or phrase mean to you, and what comforts or challenges you about the word or phrase).

This upcoming Gospel passage is the temptation of Jesus found in Matthew. The phrase that stuck out to me was: You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test. It was then that I realized that with my little prayer this morning I was testing God; instead of making sure I woke up early enough to get ready and make my lunch, I threw my lack of preparation onto God, expecting Him to magically remove the bad drivers from the road. How often do we test God in our daily lives without even realizing it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Giving Things Up for Lent

I find it so interesting that so many people give up sweets and/or chocolate for Lent. Or soda, another popular one. There are some legit reasons for doing so, but others may give it up just because it seems like the "norm" or maybe it's the easiest hardest thing to do. For me, I'd rather do things that matter (although I'm not saying that giving up sweets doesn't matter to some!), that affect my spiritual life. It's the night before Ash Wednesday and I'm not 100% positive about what I'll be doing for the next 40(+) days, but I'll figure it out tonight/tomorrow.

I think our Church used to focus so much on giving things up for Lent that it becomes the norm - "what are you giving up for Lent?" is quite a popular question today. But why not "what extra things are you doing for Lent?" Adding more things will affect your spiritual life more than simply giving up some form of food or beverage. I like the idea of giving up the snooze button, as long as it means they're getting up earlier and using that time to pray. That might be a possible "Lenten resolution" for myself. I've also thought about focusing more at work, whether it's cleaning my office or reading an article or book on youth ministry. I've also thought about praying the rosary more, since I've neglected that form of prayer in the past year. I need to pray and discern about what I'll be doing so this Lent will be the best Lent yet.