Tuesday Eighth Week of Ordinary Time
I like this set of readings, on this day before Lent is to begin, because they challenge us to stretch ourselves beyond what we think we can do.
In our first reading, Sirach tells us to do works of charity, refrain from doing evil, do not even think to appear before the Lord, empty handed, and in all you do, live in a spirit of great gratitude. These are great words in preparation for Lent.
In our Gospel, Peter says, “Lord, we have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus responds “Whoever has given up all these things for me, for the sake of the Gospel will receive a hundred more times now in the present age.” Peter had given up a lot, but it was just beginning, he would learn to do so much more. The more we give up, the more we will get in return, for we can never out give God.
Lent begins tomorrow, and it is always about an encounter with Christ; it is about changing our hearts. We, like Peter, say, “But Lord, I have given up so much,” but we have so much more we can do.
May this Eucharist help us to discern what we will do for Lent around the disciples of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving? May this Eucharist stretch us to do something, which changes our lives and helps us draw so much closer to Christ.