February 27, 2017
The 2017 Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday on March 1, 2017. Pope Francis reminds us, "Lent is a favorable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognizing in them the face of Christ."
The U.S.C.C. of Bishops offers us this Lenten mantra. “Give up! Take up! Lift up!” Quite often, many of the people that I speak with during Lent choose something to “give up”. It is something that I have always practiced, too. Pope Francis reminds us that sacrifice without adding value to another’s life is sacrifice without meaning. He offers this simple quote from Matthew as a redirection of our Lenten sacrifice. “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).
Pope Francis reminds us that there is a connection between the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy. Instead of separating the works of mercy, we must look for opportunities to connect our own personal sacrifice and prayer to touch and change the lives of those who have needs like food, shelter, or any other kind of help. We are called to share God’s Mercy unsparingly.
It is through our practice of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that we will humbly live as God calls us- to practice our Faith, to live with and provide Hope for others and Love all of God’s creations fully and unselfishly.
Lent. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/lent/index.cfm
Lent 2016: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13). The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee | Francis. (2015, October 04). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/lent/documents/papa-francesco_20151004_messaggio-quaresima2016.html