Jer. 7:23-28 Lk. 11:14-23
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I remember what the Lenten season was like for me as a child growing up in the Catholic faith. Every Lent I gave up chocolate, soda, or cookies. These sacrifices were hard for me to make, and I often failed at going the entire forty days without my sweet treats. I suppose my sweet tooth was bigger than my appreciation for the season when I was young. Now, as a Junior in college at Saint Louis University, Lent is less about feeling guilty over eating a cupcake and more about coming to know the Lord in a new way through the sacrifices I choose to make.
In the first reading from Jeremiah, there is an image of the Lord that I’d like to carry into my Lenten experience this year. The Lord says, “They…turned their backs, and not their faces to me.” The thing that scares me about this image of being face to face with the Lord, is that it leaves my back to the rest of the world and to the future. I often worry about my future and try to control the outcomes of my life. Should I study abroad this summer? Should I go out on a date with this guy? Should I move back home or stay in St. Louis after I graduate? I would like to say that I usually take these choices to prayer, but most of the time I try to make these decisions for myself. I look at logistics and practicality rather than discerning what God would have me do.
I find comfort when the Lord says in Jeremiah, “Walk in the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper.” God speaks to me in this verse about trust. The Lord intends our happiness and prosperity! I should trust God and listen to what He is saying, because He knows what my heart desires. During Lent, God gives us the opportunity to come to know and trust Him through the sacrifices we chose to make. A Lenten sacrifice should be one that puts away something of excess in our lives in order to leave more room for the Lord. My prayer for this Lenten season is to gain trust in God that His plan for me is greater than any plan I have for myself. I also pray that the Lord will open my heart through the sacrifices I make so that I can be more trusting in his loving plan for my present and future…one cupcake at a time.
Junior in School of Nursing