Day 19: Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Scripture: For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his footsteps. (1 Peter 2:21 NRSV)
Devotion: Surprisingly I was raised a Catholic without knowing anything about Lent. My mother, a zealous church goer never mentioned it (gasp). I first became aware of Lent in my early adulthood at work when I started seeing ash crosses on co-workers foreheads. I heard them talking about giving things up for Lent, like alcohol, chocolates, fatty foods, etc., and was glad I didn’t believe in Lent because I had no self-discipline when it came to giving up tasty, fattening foods. I used it as an excuse one year when a surgeon asked me why I hadn’t been in his operating room for a while, and I told him I had given him up for Lent. I learned from him that you had to like what you gave up.
However, I was aware of Christ’s desert temptations and learned that Lent was to help us walk in his footsteps during the days before Passover. Being mortal (I use that as an excuse frequently), I know I am far from being able to resist food and wealth or any other onslaught from satan; Lord help me (and them) if someone offers me a Kingdom. So I’m forever grateful for his sacrifice that brings us blameless before his throne and his example of what we can do with his help. And that you don’t have to give something up for Lent, but you can do good by increasing what you normally do in the way of assistance to the community by financial or physical services, helping shut-ins, donating food, visiting the homeless on Lancaster street or where ever they may be for you (we) are called to do good, even if it means suffering.
Prayer: Lord, help us to live up to the example you set for us. I know that for thirty-three years, you were also human and suffered and endured the same things as us as an example to show it’s possible for us to walk in your footsteps. Amen