Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
This third week of Lent, it occurs to me that I’ve probably thought more about the words and works of Jesus during the past seventeen 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. “What are you thinking?” I might have asked. Today, I realize that this is not the case. Jesus included everyone in this remark. He simply asked 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 definitely the way to go!
Though Christmas seems eons away, can you recall the numerous charitable efforts in progress during the Christmas Season? It seems that everyone tried to do something to help those in need. My parish family provided five thousand gifts for two thousand people who would otherwise have not received any gifts. Giving is always in season at Christmastime. Unfortunately, poverty and abuse and need don’t 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’s time to extend our Christmas generosity to Lent. Today, I’m going to eliminate something from my budget and I’m going to give what I save to someone who needs it more than I do. If consistency is the name of the game, it’s time for me to make a habit of this.
Loving God, help us all to live as we should rather than as we should not. In the process, help us to make our generosity a lifelong habit.
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