Reflection: Become Closer to God
Today's reflection compliments of Gary Stoff.
Now that we are in the season of Lent, it is a good time to reflect on what Lent means to me and how I can use this time to become closer to God and fulfill what He expects of me.
I am reminded of an uncle of mine who was very fond of beer. Each Lent he would give up beer for Lent and then, once Easter arrived, resumed partaking of his favorite beverage. That, to some extent, inspired me in my youth to give up something I was particularly fond of for Lent, much like my uncle gave up beer. However, in the several days leading up to Ash Wednesday I would make an effort to really get my “fill” of what I was giving up in order to see me through my Lenten “sacrifice.” And, in those days, Sunday was not really considered part of Lent so I actually only had to give up whatever Monday through Saturday and could splurge on Sunday for the 6-1/2 weeks of Lent.
As the years have gone by, I have developed a greater appreciation of what Lent truly means. Giving up something I really enjoy is fine, but there is more to Lent than that. It is an excellent opportunity to spiritually grow by taking advantage of the many “tools” available to me – daily prayer, of course; reflecting on the meditations in “The Little Black Book”; participating in the various spiritual exercises that are available; etc.
However, during these extremely trying times – the pandemic; challenging weather conditions that have affected thousands of people around the country; social unrest and inequities; etc. – I am also mindful of how blessed most of us are and how I have an opportunity to reach out to others in an effort to help them in some way through these difficult times. Today’s Gospel contains that wonderful reminder, “The Our Father,” and the admonition to “forgive those who trespass against us” so that our heavenly Father will forgive mine. Jesus also reminds us to trust in the Father to provide for our needs. Do not worry about what we will eat or drink or wear, for our heavenly Father knows that we need all these things. “But seek first the kingdom of God . . . and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Do I believe the words of Jesus and trust that my needs will be addressed by our heavenly Father? And do I love my neighbor as myself and reach out to him or her to help address his/her needs?
on Tuesday, February 23 at 12:00AM