Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

Went grocery shopping and encountered the usual many empty shelves. I had no trouble getting what I needed and became more aware in this ordinary experience of the people who can’t make it out to do their grocery shopping and the many who have multiple people living in their homes, especially children and the elderly. I noticed parents with their children going down the aisles trying to get the necessary food.

In today’s gospel at Mass, Jesus teaches us to observe the law that he came to fulfill. At the heart of the law is the love of God and neighbor. My neighbor is the very ones who can’t make it out, people who need food. Stockpiling is the ultimate act of selfishness, for it may very well deprive children and vulnerable adults of necessary nourishment.

Following church laws of fasting and abstinence is quite easy. Observing mass attendance obligation is important and necessary, but this very observance is to have an effect on our lives: we are to sacrifice for those in need. This sacrifice makes the heart grow larger, as we consider how our actions will make it easier for others to live and support loved ones and for people facing difficult illnesses to find healing.

I am single and live alone with my dog, who is getting plenty of nourishment and care. I have had parishioners who live a distance away from the rectory who have offered to bring me food. How lucky can you get!!! I have plenty, and much more. Seeing those empty shelves put me in touch with others who NEED the food, and my heart got bigger. A graced moment in the hustle and bustle of a jewel grocery store. Following the gospel law of loving one’s neighbor at all costs is the best response during these difficult times . Think of someone else in need. Pray. Sacrifice. Be grateful. Let the heart expand. Become a good neighbor yourself.

Fr. Frank