Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Reflections for Lent 2017

Bringing advantage to others
As the season of Lent approaches the recent message by Pope Francis caught my attention. His words “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage to others”. This is the essence of all our sacrifices we make during Lent. Fasting, abstinence, self-punishing and even alms giving which are all fashionable acts during Lent are meaningless in the eyes of God if they do not benefit others in some way.
Unfortunately the motive of all the sacrifices we undertake during Lent is often for our own benefits. The Holy Father tells us that this is not what Lent is all about. 
Each of us will have our own unique ways to mark this season of Lent but let us remember that whatever we do it must bring some benefit or advantage to someone somewhere. It may not be very big but it must come from our hearts and be done with great love, otherwise what we do is meaningless in the eyes of God.
Yes, Jesus is waiting for us in the numerous desperate people around us whom we fail to see, the sick, the dying, the hungry, the oppressed, the homeless and the poor abused by the rich and powerful. Let’s embrace and allay their pain and sorrow as by doing so we are in fact embracing Jesus Himself.
Let's put aside our problems for a while and spare some time to help to brighten the fading light in someone's life.
Have a blessed and meaningful Lent ahead.