God’s merciful love is real. And the Church, for all of its flaws, is far greater than the human beings who labor in its vineyard. The response to our psalm cannot be more apropos: “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.” We are in trouble, and God is with us.
As we look toward the season of Lent, our Gospel this Sunday invites us to look at our lives with clear eyes and to reflect on the fruit of our lives. Are there “branches” that need to be pruned, so that other areas of our lives — including our prayer and ministry — can be more fruitful?
It is easy to lose hope in the face of societal violence. There are people all around us who are hurting. Perhaps if we were quicker to show them mercy, they would be less likely to lash out. Who knows how many atrocities have been averted simply by someone taking the time to listen to a neighbor?
Do not ever take your simple actions of generosity and love for granted. As disciples called to a life of stewardship, we participate in something more profound than what we can see. We are blessed to be called to follow Jesus, and we bring blessing to all those with whom we choose to share ourselves.
Sometimes, it feels like Advent has only just ended before Lent rolls around. This is another time in our liturgical calendar when parishioners begin to look to parish leaders for guidance, inspiration, and compassion to help them navigate. Is your parish ready to meet their needs?