Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What Changes Will You Make?

As we are about to embark on our Lenten journey for the next 40 days, I always find myself thinking about what I will be giving up the night before Ash Wednesday. Of course, there is the standard sacrifice for me . . . chocolate (after all, a balanced diet is chocolate in both hands, right?). All kidding aside, I am considering changes I will make drawing me closer to Jesus. First, we need to ask Him for help in understanding what changes need to occur . . . then we need to listen to His answer. We do this by reflecting on how we conduct our lives. Where are we getting it wrong? Are we proud of our actions? If not, Lent is the time to commit yourself to working on areas needing improvement. So, in addition to sacrificing my love of chocolate for 40 days, I decided I need to work on patience. Ok, I'm ready to begin! But I will patiently await the placing of ashes on my forehead tomorrow! 

Todays Gospel (Mark 10: 28-31) demonstrates the changes needing to occur in order for Peter to better understand Jesus:

Peter began to say to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands,with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Serving in Clarity, the first sentence of this quote says it all:

"It is only when we give up trying to be masters that we can become servants. We will not enter heaven with our hands on our hips, telling everyone else, least of all Christ, where they are getting it wrong." 

Lay apostles, let's begin Lent with the right attitude. It's great to sacrifice your favorite food for 40 days. And even greater to develop a more intimate relationship with Christ. Use this time to pray more, love more, judge less and believe in the words of Our Savior in the Gospel. 

Thank you, Lord, for giving me 40 days to change my heart and mind. Please let this Lent lead me where YOU want me to go!

God bless,


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