“Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
From Luke 11:14-23
This third week of Lent, it occurs to me that I have probably thought about the life, words and works of Jesus more during the past twenty-plus days than I have in a very long time. Today’s scripture passage would have thrown me for a loop not so long ago because I would have questioned Jesus’ exclusivity. Since I have spent this Lent getting to know Jesus better, I understand that Jesus is not leaving any one of us out with this remark. Rather, Jesus asks that we live as we should consistently, rather than when it is convenient or “in season.” When we are not living as we should, we are living as we shouldn’t. Consistency is the cure!
Do you recall the numerous charitable efforts in progress during the Christmas Season? It seems everyone tried to do something to help those in need. My parish family collected more than five thousand gifts for more than two thousand people this year. It seems giving is always in season at Christmastime. Unfortunately, poverty and abuse do not adhere to a calendar. Jobs are lost every day, and medical bills mount up regardless of the season. Food pantries have long since distributed their Christmas donations, and the economy has taken its toll on social agencies. Perhaps it is time to extend our Christmas generosity to Lent. Today, I am going to eliminate one non-essential item from my budget and I am going to give what I save to someone who needs it more than I do.
Dear Jesus, because you know me better than I know myself, you know that I mean to do the right thing. Help me to live as I should rather than living as I should not. Give me the generosity and the courage to act on my good intentions and to care for those in need all year long.
©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved