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. 

The second reading from St. Paul to the Ephesians doesn’t always strike me as “Lent-like.” St. Paul writes about mercy, compassion and God’s grace.  Not very penitential, ya know.

But, on a second and third reading, the connection seems to be a bit clearer.  Lent is a dying to self.  Lent is a walk in a dry desert that calls for a soul to be nourished by the healing, life-giving salve found in our sacramental life. Lent is also about understanding grace as free gift, not a reward.

My godson and his big brothers live in Minnesota.  Like many parishes, the one they attend has donuts after mass most Sundays. When the boys ask for donuts, their dad, not one to let a joke or theological moment pass, generally responds with, “Boys, do we believe in unmerited grace?”

Do we believe in unmerited grace?  Do our actions save us?

No, our actions don’t save us.  Jesus Christ saved us.  His ultimate action is what brings us to salvation’s door and through the grace of God we are called to participate and do good deeds in our world.

How are you participating this Lent?  What actions are you engaging in that call forth your return to Christ?

 

Genevieve Mougey, M.Div., is manager for poverty education & outreach at the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace & Human Development. Please join them in this time of reflection and prayer by using The Scriptural Way of the Cross.