Feb. 12, 2016 Friday: Friday after Ash Wednesday
Why do we and the Pharisees fast [much], but your disciples do not fast? – Matthew 9: 14
In 1787 the Continental Congress of the United States authorized the official penny. The motto they chose was not “In God we trust” but the blatant “Mind your own business.” Ouch! Somehow I can’t imagine Jesus telling John’s disciples those very same words when they asked him, “How come your disciples do not fast?” Jesus was too gracious and clever to be so blunt. But maybe we need to be reminded from time to time to mind our own business. It can be tempting to compare ourselves to others especially during Lent, to measure who is more spiritual based on what they are doing for Lent. We may see ourselves as more sacrificial while others loaf through Lent. Not good.
Lent is a time for your own personal renewal. It is between God and you. It is not a competition or a comparison on who is doing more. At different stages and with different needs, we respond to God’s invitation accordingly. The real question during Lent is not what is my neighbor doing, but what is God asking me to do.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I get caught up in the comparison game. It’s not just a matter of who has a bigger house or newer car, or even who has a better spiritual life. You don’t compare me to others and therefore neither should I. Help me to focus only on honoring and pleasing you. Amen.
-Fr. Thomas J. Connery
Lent, Little by Little