I was reflecting on a letter our Minister General Sister Celestine Giertych, CSSF wrote to us before this Lenten season. Her words resonated with me and I share one of her paragraphs with you.
“As we approach the season of Lent, we take time to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice, out of love for each one of us. Often we are moved to make some sacrifices or penances. That is all well and good-but it is not the most important. The recent readings during the masses of ordinary time point out to us that what God desires is not our sacrifices but our obedience and mercy.(1 Sam.15:22) (Matt. 8:13) Jesus told us the most important commandments are the love of God and neighbor. (Matt. 22:36-38) In the Gospel of Mark, that we are hearing these days, the word “immediately” appears very often. He is pleased with the immediacy of our response.”
And so, maybe we could take to heart immediately, this call of Jesus to love. Let our Lent be a time of an ever deeper love for our families, friends, and the communities where we work and spend most of our time. Let not a day pass without us showing kindness, respect, encouragement, support, and gentleness. This year of Jubilee Year of Mercy, may we abide by Christ’s word to love one another in word and deed. In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 4:31-32, he says “get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ." Time and again as I reflect on what it is to be a follower of Christ and how we are to recognize one another I hear these words echoing in my heart. “You will know them by how they love one another." In this Year of Mercy then, may we hear that same call, “you will know them by how they show Mercy." What a wonderful witness to God’s infinite love, we have been shown mercy and because we have received this bounty of God’s mercy we will in turn show mercy to others. Be assured of my prayers for each of you and your families during the season of Lent.
Sister Rena Romero, CSSF