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Readings for Today

Lenten Reflection

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Judas complains that the perfumed oil Mary wastes anointing Jesus’ feet could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor.

His objection identifies a false dichotomy – the perceived conflict between loving God and loving others. Mary shows her love by pouring out costly oil over the one who will pour out his life for us. Jesus responds by accepting her display of love while reminding us of our obligation to the poor.

We know that environmental disasters disproportionally impact the most vulnerable. Think of Hurricane Irene’s impact on the poor of Atlantic coastal cities. Think of the impact of rising sea levels on small island nations. By caring for God’s Creation, we care for the poor.

Just as God poured out Himself over Creation, we are called to pour out ourselves over caring for that Creation. By doing so we care for the poor and voiceless.

Reflection Questions:

  • Where do you see connections between caring for the poor and caring for the environment in your own community?
  • Do the poor and voiceless include the non-human members of God’s Creation?

John Shea, SJ is a recently ordained priest who teaches biology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He studies parasites and their use as indicators of eco-system health. He plans to take Creighton students to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to do biological field research this summer.

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