Saturday of the First Week of Lent

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Today’s reflection was written by Brother Paul Murray, C.F.X.

“Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”

[Matthew 5:48]

 

Today’s Gospel reading and final imperative offers us an opportunity on the last day of the First Week of Lent to reflect once again on the week’s theme: RETURNING TO OUR TRUE PLACE. One might be inclined to look at this mandate of Jesus for us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, as an impossible task given the incomprehensible differences between God’s divine nature and our human one. However, we believe that we are created in the image and likeness of God, each of us one of a kind and loved by God uniquely and unconditionally. Therefore, we might more easily interpret this urging by Jesus as asking us to be as perfect in our own wounded and sinful humanity as God is in God’s divinity. Perhaps Jesus is asking us to truly return to our true place, that is, the unique image that God created us to be and loves, our true selves.

Most of us don’t see ourselves and love ourselves like God sees and loves us. God sees to the core of our being while we tend to get stuck seeing the superficial, that which does not really matter. It is easy to give in to the temptation to see ourselves the way we want to be perceived by others whether or not that perception is true. Perhaps during these days of Lent, we can ask God to help us to see in us what God sees and try to change what God is calling us to change. As Xaverians, we are called by our Fundamental Principles, not to engage in this introspection for our own personal growth alone but to better serve others and in so doing, help others to discover their own uniqueness, their own true place, so that they may “share the love of God with the world through their own giftedness.” It’s clear that in the Xaverian way of life, the seeing and the loving is deeply intertwined with service.

 

Recommended Exercise

Take 10 – 15 minutes

Recall that you are in the presence of God.

Suggested reflection questions:

Knowing that God sees me as I truly am and loves me unconditionally, what are some aspects of myself that I know must be pleasing to God?

 What are some aspects of myself that I feel God might be calling me to change that I might move closer to the image of God that God created me to be?

 Are there some practical steps that I might take during this season of Lent that might assist me? Might these steps involve service to others?

 

Prayer

Good and gracious God, we are always returning, always in a movement toward our true home. We know that “our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”  As we begin the discipline of the season of Lent, give us the grace to begin our journey back to our true home. May we travel this journey wholeheartedly, not simply ‘rending our garments’ superficially, but truly placing ourselves in the hands of your Divine Mercy and experiencing your ineffable and unconditional love. May we who follow the Xaverian Way, commit ourselves to renewing our family and being your compassionate presence in our world today. We ask this in the name of Jesus, your Son and our brother. Amen.

 

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One Comment

  1. Donna O'Connor says:

    Will come back to this particular reflection often!
    “…not to engage in this introspection for our own personal growth alone but to better serve others and in so doing, help others to discover their own uniqueness, their own true place, so that they may ‘share the love of God with the world through their own giftedness’.”

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