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 question posed to Jesus in today’s Gospel speaks to our Lenten journey. We’re in the third week, we’re getting cranky without chocolate. Wouldn’t it be nice just to sing the Gloria in mass? Just once?
Peter asks, “How often must I forgive?” Weeks into Lent, we might be asking “How committed do I really need to be?”
The answer is unequivocal: We must learn from the Lord and be 100% committed to walking in Jesus’ example. No, we can’t sing the Gloria. Rather than allowing ourselves a small respite from our chocolate-less existence, we must redouble our efforts towards not just our own self-sacrifices, but to the sacrifices the Lord asks of us.
In a time of strife of for the Jewish people, “brought low” by sins, Azariah pleads with the Lord to accept merely their presence and “unreserved” following as appropriate sacrifice. Indeed, by the end of Deuteronomy, the Jews have been shown mercy and found the Promised Land.
To find the same in our own lives, to remove the desert from our hearts, we must remain committed during the struggles of Lent and through the rest of the year. Not seven, but seventy-seven times shall we reinforce within ourselves that we follow the Lord “unreservedly” and seek full presence with God.
By Matt Gritzmacher