Lenten Reflection Series: Looking Both Inward and Outward During Lent

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.

For much of Lent, our attention is turned inward as we examine our sins and ask God to remold our hearts. While this internal examination is important, today’s first reading invites us to broaden the scope of our reflection. Moses tells the Israelites that Yahweh’s laws are perfectly just and that in abiding by them, their wisdom will be evident to all nations.

Moses’ declaration makes us examine how we’re seen by other nations. Is our nation known for its just policies? How would our allies—or even our enemies—describe us?

What about our Church? Are we known as welcoming or exclusive? Are we known for our efforts to protect the vulnerable?

If the institutions of which we are a part—our businesses, schools, cities, nations, and Church—are not known for their promotion of justice, then we must hold them accountable; we must become involved in our communities, build relationships with our lawmakers, and become active members of our churches to bring our world closer to God’s perfect justice. This Lent, may we not only look inward but also outward and take action to better promote God’s wisdom and justice in our world.

Rachel Malinowski is a third-year Master of Divinity candidate at Yale Divinity School and an alumna of Fordham University. Her primary areas of interest are the Catholic social tradition and faith formation.