Friday after Ash Wednesday
Jesus reminds us today that there is a time for everything, a time to mourn and a time to celebrate. While He was present on this earth, He urged His disciples, the disciples of John, and the Pharisees to celebrate with Him, warning them that there will come a time of mourning. Yet, we must examine this reading in the context of the first reading from Isaiah where God calls His people not to fast absent mindedly, but instead to care for those who are hungry, oppressed, and treated unjustly. God notes that we must not turn our back on our own, something all too easy to do. Indeed, living in the small bubble of the Saint Michael’s community makes it a simple task to ignore problems right here in Burlington, Vermont; as a college student, I need not ever leave campus if I so desire.
But God calls us to preferentially care the poor, a part of Catholic Social Teaching. Preferentially caring for the poor means recognizing that issues like epidemics of disease tend to focus in on poorer populations, and healthcare institutions should as well. As Oscar Romero suggested, we have one reaction to a building we watch burning, but a much more frantic reaction to the burning building if we learned that our mother or father were inside. As Catholics, we are called to look upon poverty from this perspective and see Christ in whoever might be suffering.
Dear Lord, give me the courage and compassion to notice Your presence in everyone around me, those close to me and those I call strangers.
Greg Hamilton, ’16
First Reading: Isaiah 58:1-9a
Psalm 51:3-6a, 18-19
Gospel: Matthew 9:14-15
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website