Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent. 

“See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you.” (Genesis 9:8)

Today’s scriptures remind that we need renewal these 40 days. Our world is filled with many beautiful things, yet too many people suffer from poverty and violence.  Facing this suffering can be overwhelming and cause us to narrow our vision and hearts. When dreaming of the future, we rarely look beyond the horizon of our studies, our jobs, or our desire for a family.  We’ve become these “spirits in prison” who need the gospel proclamation: “the Kingdom of God is near.” These words invite us to dream of a future when the poor are consoled, when peace is real, when God is with us.

We must not be the people in Noah’s time refusing to believe change is possible. For God promises He will renew all creation through his covenant people—us. When we accept this promise, God’s Word will liberate us from selfish and narrow horizons. We will become audacious and enthusiastic (etymology: “filled with God”) in facing our world’s real sufferings and in proclaiming the good news, both in word and acts.

 

Charlie Gardner is the Washington Officer for the Community of Sant’Egidio, which is a Catholic lay community dedicated to putting the Gospel into practice through prayer, service, and friendship with the poor. He grew up in St. Louis Missouri, and attended the University of Notre Dame where he received an undergraduate degree in Great Books and Catholic Social Thought and a graduate degree in Theology through the Echo Program.