Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

We’re all aware, I’m sure, that this coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and I think if we listen deeply and carefully to today’s lessons, we’ll get some guidance on what we should be thinking about as we begin to think about how am I going to spend these six weeks. A special prayer and fasting and alms-giving, because it’s important before we start the season of Lent to begin to have some kind of a plan as to what we will do, and again, today’s lessons give us some direction.

But when I hear the Gospel lesson, I wonder a bit how it must sound to someone — maybe even somebody here in church this morning who doesn’t have a job, who’s just been laid off, or maybe hasn’t had a job for months and desperately looking for a job. Or someone who works full time and doesn’t even make enough to be out of poverty.

How would a person like that hear today’s lessons? It could be very difficult, but if we concentrate on one part of the Gospel lesson this morning, we’ll see a way out of that difficulty — where we can find hope — because Jesus says a bit further along in the passage, “Seek first the kingdom of God. Seek first the kingdom of God and all of these other things will follow.”

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