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.
The question posed to Jesus in today’s Gospel speaks to our Lenten journey. We’re in the third week, we’re starting to get cranky without chocolate, and wouldn’t it be nice just to sing the Gloria in mass? Just once?
Peter asks, “How often must I forgive?” Now, weeks into this 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 truly 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 for the Jewish people, “brought low” by sin, 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 own hearts, we must remain committed during the struggles of Lent and through those of the rest of our year. Not seven but seventy-seven times shall we reinforce within ourselves that we follow the Lord “unreservedly” and seek to be fully present with God.
Matthew Gritzmacher is a freelance writer.