from Pax Christi Metro New York
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your merciful love;
according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions.
Wash me completely from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin. Psalm 51:3-4
In his 2015 Lenten Message, Pope Francis tells us “Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community and every believer.” He goes on to emphasize just how much God cares for us. God loves us so much as to have sent Jesus into our world to save us from our sins.
Unfortunately, we have not always been as loving and caring. Especially when we are comfortable, we tend to become indifferent to the plight of others. Pope Francis calls this the “globalization of indifference,” and he appeals to us to use this Lent as a time for “internal renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves.” To do this he recommends that we reflect on three scripture verses:
1. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26). Pope Francis refers this passage to the Church. He reminds us that we are all part of the Body of Christ and the communion of saints. As such we must be both recipients and givers of God’s gifts.
2. “Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9). Here Pope Francis asks us to apply our loving concern to the real flesh and blood of our parishes and communities through prayer and outreach to those in need. His wish is that “especially our parishes and our communities may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference.”…