Lenten Reflection Series: Abandoning Our Digital Idols

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.

Today’s Gospel is a simple, straightforward exchange between Jesus and a scribe—you could almost call it “The Commandments for Dummies.”

There are two commandments that stick out before all the others: honor your one and only God and no other, and love your neighbor as you love yourself. We have taught our children from day one to treat others as they would like to be treated, and, for the most part, the Golden Rule stays with us well into adulthood. But honoring no other God but ours sometimes gets away from us, it seems.

We are so constantly distracted by texting, tweeting a play-by-play of our day, or binge-watching Netflix that we have basically turned our phones into modern-day deities. I’m just as guilty as anyone else of this, constantly watching and rewatching shows.

But there is no better time to question where our attention is going than Lent. Instead of being glued inches away from anything with a digital screen, take a step back and realize these things in our hands are distractions and often lead to temptation, and they don’t forgive sins. Only God can do that. Show Him a little extra love instead of creeping on Facebook for the hundredth time.

Nate Marsh is the communications associate at Franciscan Mission Service in Washington, DC. He is a 2014 graduate of La Roche College in Pittsburgh, PA.