This week, the Gospel tells us that everyone who believes in Jesus will have eternal life, and whoever lives by the truth will come into the light, and Jesus will be watching. Sounds pretty straightforward enough, right? Not really.
I believe that if I plant seeds and water them, a flower will grow. The reason I believe this is because I have done it. It is a tangible activity. The flower is my proof. It is easier to believe in things you can see. Can you see God’s promise in the Gospel?
Unfortunately, the only way you will know if your belief in Jesus rewards you with eternal life is to die. Frankly, I’m not ready to participate in that experiment just yet!
Luckily for me I already believe in the Gospel readings because I have faith.
Faith is not tangible, yet some days it feels so real that I can almost touch it. Other days, I have a hard time conjuring it up. And, if I am not careful, it can become fluid and come and go at will. For me, faith is like the flower that needs watering; it needs to be tended to daily.
Thanks to COVID-19 (always finding the silver lining), our parish has been live-streaming daily and Sunday Masses. I have committed to viewing daily Mass as part of my Lenten journey. It is helping me nurture my faith. Are you doing anything different to nurture your faith this Lenten season?
In addition to watching daily Mass, I am actively seeking opportunities for acts of random kindness. I get such pleasure in doing them.
I was in heavy traffic the other day, and a woman was trying to pull out of a gas station. No one was letting her in. I stopped my car and waved her in front of me. I could see the absolute look of relief on her face. She was obviously stressing and probably running late for something. Such an easy gesture that made us both happy.
I am a big fan of paying for the car behind me when at a drive-thru restaurant. That always makes someone’s day!
These small acts of kindness reinforce my faith. Leading with kindness and love is suggested many times throughout the Gospel. These acts take the focus off me since I am seeking opportunities to help others. What acts of kindness have you performed lately?
This week’s reading also says, “Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
I choose to live in the light, and I am grateful God is watching what I am doing. I know He is putting opportunities on my path, and it is up to me to recognize them and take advantage of them.
One of the best opportunities God provided for me was time at Nazareth Farm. I had the good fortune to participate in an adult week there a few months back. It definitely reinforced my faith in God, Jesus’s teachings, and eternal life.
No, I didn’t see an apparition at the Farm. What I did see was a group of young adults performing acts of kindness in their community by way of much-needed home repairs. I also witnessed great respect for the environment in the limiting of water and electricity usage. They ate food they harvested from their own gardens.
Community members shared in all the chores. Communal praying and reflection time was a daily occurrence. I witnessed the beauty of God’s creation in the stunning landscape of the mountains and sky. There were dogs and cats to love and colorful birds feasting at feeders. Surely, God was present!
My faith is a continuous work in progress. I need to participate in Mass and dissect the readings so I stay connected to my beliefs. When I am consistent, I am calmer, more understanding of others, and simply more content with myself.
The challenges of everyday life become easier for me when my faith is strong. I know that no matter how difficult things may become with God at my side, I will be just fine. He helped me get through cancer, Sepsis, job loss, and financial stress.
He’ll help you too if you live in the light and seize the opportunities He presents to you.
Why don’t you ask Him to join you on your Lenten journey this year? Who knows what He has in store for you?
- Loretta Rederscheid, volunteer and Erin’s mom
- You can read more from Loretta on her blog, Outwitting Life