Lenten Reflection Series: Too Distracted to See Jesus Among Us

Throughout the season of Lent, we’re featuring the Millennial Lenten Reflection Series, co-sponsored by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Franciscan Mission Service. Each small reflection will be written by a young person, focusing on that day’s Mass reading. You can sign up for the series here.

What is it about our constant desire to be the best? To be honored? To receive recognition? We see that desire in today’s Gospel with James and John.

Jesus has just finished explaining to his disciples that he will be killed when they reach Jerusalem, and the sons of Zebedee get caught up in their own recognition. The original followers of Jesus were distracted by their own pride that they looked right past what Jesus had told them.

They were so distracted by this need to be the best that they missed Jesus right in front of them. How often do we follow in the footsteps of the original disciples and miss Jesus present before us? How often are we so caught up in our own ambitions that we ignore Jesus present in those around us?

Maybe it isn’t pride, but we all do have our own distractions that allow us to ignore the presence of God around us – in ourselves and in each other. But isn’t that part of why we set aside this Lenten season, to address some of those distractions and let us recognize that divine presence in our daily lives?

Jeff Sved is a missioner with Franciscan Mission Service, living in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He works in the local prisons visiting inmates and working alongside them in their carpentry and artisan workshops. Read his blog to find out more about his faith and experiences in Bolivia.