Fourth Sunday of Lent
"The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want." The words of today's Psalm wash over me almost reassuringly. It is easy to think in terms of what I want verses what I actually need in daily life. If I can "learn what is pleasing to the Lord" as described in the second reading, I remember that I am a vehicle of God's will. I want balance, health, joy, time with family and friends. As people, we can get caught up in a false discernment that strokes the ego rather than true discernment. What are the motivations behind your actions? What about the motivations behind your words?
With the birth of my first child this past year, I have struggled and rejoiced in the growing pains of becoming a mother. One of the biggest changes in my daily life is the shift from doing what I want, whenever I want. This may seem like an obvious transition, but living and caring for a child is not quite real until blessed with a tiny baby that is your responsibility. Care for self and spouse can quickly go out the window. There are habits, particularly of thought, that I often encounter that serve as personal examples of discernment gone awry. I need more sleep, just one more hour, in order to be able to function at work today. The vicious sweet tooth in me needs something post dinner for the meal to feel complete. In order to come back to a path that is pleasing to the Lord, I am continually learning to come back to what makes me whole. I need prayer, support, rest, and nutritious food. Instead of another hour of sleep, sometimes sitting in silence while seemingly the whole world still sleeps is more beneficial than restlessly laying in bed and thinking about how badly I need more sleep. Pausing after dinner, the sweet craving subtly passes. So too do the things, actions, and desires we crave in our false discernment while those that are pleasing to the Lord never cease. The Lenten season is an opportunity to strip away that which we do not need in order to create space for connection with the Divine.
God of Truth, give us wisdom to discern between what we want and what we need. Support us to foster practices that make us whole.
Kate Floyd, ‘06, Assistant Director of MOVE (Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts)
First Reading: Joshua 5:9a, 10-12
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website