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.
Sometimes the question comes up of why we should even pray, fast, or give alms during Lent when the Lord our Savior has already given his life for us. But when I consider this practice and think about today’s first reading, Is 58:9B-14, what comes to mind is a constant need to be aware of “the other” and to be at service to “the other.” “If you hold back your foot on the Sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day…” (Is 58:13) — there is a death to self that is required by all on the Sabbath.
Our death to self, death to our sins is what perfects the very image of Christ we are called to be in the world. It reflects the death to self that the Son of God endured (even in all His glory and beauty) when he died on the Cross. The way in which we answer the call to serve others is the same death to ourselves that also requires us to submit to Jesus’ call to follow him, as he asks the tax collector in the gospel reading.
Casey Bustamante works in full-time young adult ministry with the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA in Washington, DC. She is also a recent Air Force Veteran, having served 6 years active duty both stateside and abroad.