This year, I was once again asked by my parish to write a couple reflections for our Lenten reflection book. Here’s my first entry for this year. It’s based on Matthew 25:31-46.
Every year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I choose a “word of the year,” something to focus on during the coming months. This year I’ve taken a cue from Pope Francis and chosen the word mercy. Perhaps that is why today’s Gospel reading resonates with me so much. Within this passage, we see Jesus extolling many of the corporal works of mercy: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned.
Sometimes these acts of mercy are easy for me. As a Dame of the Order of Malta, I serve meals at Catholic Charities and visit nursing homes. With my friends, we pack food boxes at Feed My Starving Children. The times that are hard for me to be merciful are the “sudden” moments when I encounter a homeless person on the street. So this year, I’m going to try being merciful in a new way. I’m going to carry around with me a few gift cards to grocery stores or fast food chains that I can hand out to people I meet on the street. In what ways can you practice “random acts of mercy” this Lent?