BY JUSTIN WHITE | March 13, 2021
Today’s Readings

It should give us pause that during this third week of Lent, we are still being told by Hosea to “return to the Lord.” We’ve been doing that, right? What more is there to give up? What sacrifice has not already been sacrificed? What prayers have not already been prayed? What alms have not already been given? What calls for justice have not already been cried out for?

It is in these questions that we are reminded of the meaning of Lent—purposeful humility.

If our Lenten practices cause false righteousness, and if our work for justice flows solely from a determination of self and not a downward gaze of surrender—this Lenten halftime pep talk is for us.

Lenten halftime

Where do your frustrations lie? Is it with mismanagement around vaccine rollouts, handling of a power outage, the lack of appreciation from a school system, a priest’s homily that did more harm than good, or friends and family members that continue to deny white supremacy? We all know that the list could go on. Whether or not we’ve prayed about the things that trouble our hearts, we are invited to venture deeper this Lent. 

This Lent, we are called to connect our hearts to the centuries of hearts that have gone before calling out and believing in the deliverance of a faithful God. 

This Lent, we are called to connect our hearts to those we may despise, the very ones that we believe stand in the way of justice. 

This Lent, we are called to recognize the goodness of our work, but also to recognize that we do not have the all-powerful gaze to see all of the Work.  

This Lent, we are called to ask for mercy and to extend mercy within our truth-telling, for it is through mercy that we continue to build the Kingdom of God.

For Reflection:

  • Who have you not prayed for this Lent?
  • Consider reading Pope Francis’ Fratelli tutti as part of your Lenten practice and reflection.

4 replies
  1. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    This Lent I have not prayed for the ending of violence. I read a story about a person in Little Village and my heart hurt but I need to pray for more than that. What is the reason for violence? Is there some way I can alleviate what causes violence? Is it the power that we want to have over each other that causes violence? Is it the fact that equty is remotely attended to? Is it the homlessness that brings about violence? I need to ask God for the answer to these prayer. I need to make sure I and others treat all people with respect and dignity. I need to alleviate violence by giving my goods so that others may feel the goodness of God abiding in all. This mid-time reflection in Lent makes me stand upright and see if the pain of violence can be alleviated by the way I am present to others. I need God’s help..

    Reply
  2. Elaine
    Elaine says:

    Hi Justin,

    What if, in the term “white supremacy”, we took out the word “white”? Doesn’t that “sting” a bit more realistically and feel more like it? Wealth, pleasure, power, honor. Do not these seek supremacy on others?
    One of the responders to your article asks what is the cause of violence. Let’s just start at the root causes, not in the middle of the problem. Do we respect every single life or do the unborn have to be sure, somehow, not to slip through the cracks and get aborted because of the “supremacy” of those who care more about themselves and their own wealth, pleasure, power, and honor?
    If our “leaders” say it is ok to kill the unborn then any treatment of others falls right in line with that. Supremacy. How does that attitude make “them” worthy of the honor of being a “leader” of the people?
    Margaret Sanger was all about eugenics —an advocate of abortion and she herself has fooled many into the killing of the unborn. I think if I were black and I knew how Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger connected I would feel so deceived and angered. Yet, people fight for the right for abortion through this killing that Planned Parenthood provides-and, this while PP is trying to force their “procedures “ on others as idyllic and necessary and worthy of making everyone pay for abortions through their taxes.
    I greatly dislike the term “white supremacy “ because it is so limiting. It seems to point the finger/problem off track once again.
    Why don’t we just stick to the truth that everyone is made in the image and likeness of God and that that is the reason we love and honor the gift of life?
    There is no naïveté here. People are imperfect beings and that how we exercise love in being there for each other. Every life is sacred.
    God is faithful and, He WILL deliver.
    Thanks, Justin, for your article.

    Reply
  3. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Thanks Justin for this thought-provoking piece. Indeed mercy is a rich resource for these testing times.

    Reply

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