“For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” Ephesians 2:10
As far as Paul is concerned, we all have an important role to play. And our calling comes into sharper relief as we continue through the days and weeks of Lent.
Of course, we all have choices to make about how we witness our faith. That’s why Lent is so helpful—and hopeful. It’s the gift we give ourselves. We pray for guidance to be better family members and neighbors, better co-workers and more engaged members of our parishes and communities. And we pray that by giving ourselves selflessly—in time, words, prayers and deeds—we will encourage others to become the children of God that they were called to be.
If the days of Lent have started to feel long, don’t be discouraged. God is still at work, infusing us with new life. Each act of charity, and every moment you dedicate to prayer takes you closer to your personal transformation.
I understand: Sometimes we are called to do things that aren’t always easy, and that includes me. The past year and its lingering impact have asked us all to be selfless and heroic in ways we couldn’t have imagined. But our examples of collective good will and determination continue to inspire the faithful—and society itself. Working through suffering is the story of Easter—the birth of new life that follows and the promise of redemption in Christ.
Friend, you are God’s fullest expression of life destined for greatness by doing good. Your gifts are unique to you. Share them and you are doing the work of salvation, drawing closer to eternal life—the promise of Easter. Life is always new, always becoming. And you are the reason why.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for Fourth Sunday of Lent
As I continue to cross the wilderness of Lent,
without the comforts and habits of everyday life
I depend on for fleeting happiness and fulfillment,
strip me of all vanities and imaginings
that neither come from You nor lead to You,
my Lord and my God.
Remove all envy, jealousy, and greed
from my heart so wounded by life.
Drive from me all anger and resentment
that keep me from others and thus from You.
Above all, Lord Jesus, give me the power
to overcome false pride and ego
that Your divine image might once more
shine forth in and through my life.
By the grace of these 40 holy days
teach me to walk in Your ways and
live by the truth of Your gospel
to overcome not only sin but also
selfishness through the power of
Your Cross and Resurrection.
In Your most holy Name we pray.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso