"We gather in faith..."

Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis J. Christian

Reflections

All 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

God.

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.