Friday, April 03, 2020

Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

No matter what Jesus did or how he responded, many of the religious leaders confronting him would never be satisfied. They had a narrow and rigid understanding of the Law and its interpretation. Their minds were closed to any other vision of the Law that they had learned in their prayer and studies.

Jesus was trying to stretch and open, not only their minds, but their hearts, so that they could “see” in a new light. The closing of the mind and heart is a horrible reality that is alive and well in our times. We can easily be one “locked in” to an established way of seeing the world, by only viewing or reading a particular media platform that supports views with which we are comfortable.

Being in our current shut down way of living can be an apt metaphor for this limiting way of seeing the world, the church and God. Our isolation can heighten being closed off, not only physically, but spiritually and psychologically. Most of us have more time to watch tv or read various materials. The question becomes: what are we filling our minds with?

I would encourage people to use the time wisely by turning off the tv and reading a good book. Use the many apps to pray through the Mass readings of the day. Each day has its own designated readings. Listen to some podcasts on a variety of topics. Plan and Cook meals, even if you are not good at it. Do some form of regular exercising to release pent up frustrations. As a family, engage in some fun activities, teaching children about our faith, helping them with their online school work. How about talking with each other about what’s going on and recognizing how difficult it can be to be separated from friends and social activities.

Let’s make an effort to use this time to “open our minds” in seeing new possibilities and new ways of doing things. We have to keep HOPING and PRAYING through these times with “open minds,” which lead to expanding hearts which lead to loving in new and surprising ways.

Fr. Frank