"We gather in faith..."
Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis J. Christian
ReflectionsAll of us have, at one time or another, named certain
things as our “priorities.” From time to time, when we
become aware of not doing something that is really
important, we say, “I have to make that a priority.” Lent
is an important time to do a top-to-bottom review of what
we value and what we actually do in our everyday lives.
Whenever we do this, we always discover that something
needs realigning. We discover that there are values we
hold, commitments we’ve made, growth we desire that
simply don’t make it on the list of our actual priorities,
that is, the things that take the “first place” in our lives.
For example, I might say, “My family is my first
priority.” But my family might say otherwise. I might
say, “My faith is among my top priorities.” But an honest
self-examination may show otherwise. I may say that I
understand and believe the teaching of Christ that we will
be judged on how we care for the least of our brothers and
sisters. But it may be true, upon serious reflection, that
only rarely does feeding, clothing, or caring for these
people become things that I actually do.
A thorough review of what is most important to us,
and what seems to be important to us by virtue of what we
actually do, is prime Lenten activity. If what we are
hoping to do during Lent is to grow in personal freedom,
based upon our growing sense of God’s love for us, and
our clearer vision, of who we are, and our deepening
desire to be more closely aligned with the heart of Jesus,
then we will want to do this personal review very
carefully. How else will we ever be able to break old self
-defeating habits and secure the establishment of new
ones that help us be who we want to actually be before
Next week I will share with you some thoughts on
discerning our real priorities and re-aligning them as
necessary. To begin, I invite you to ask this question.
Who am I and what is my purpose in life? In order to
review what we really value we have to first be sure we
know who we are and what we are called to be. Let us
make this Lent a time to search our hearts and lives for
how what we actually do matches up with what we say
we value in light of who we believe we are.