Lenten Reflection: Oh, if we only…
First Sunday of Lent
The first time I ever heard, “Oh, if we only used our powers for good,…” I thought it was terribly funny and also wise. Every time I see something senseless, I wonder: If only… What if…
I think that one of the things that Jesus was trying to figure out in his temptation in the desert was precisely this: How shall I use my powers? The range of his power and the extent of his deprivation during those 40 days of fasting is of course much more than what we experience ourselves, but how he dealt with the situation can still be illuminating for us. He practices great restraint, denying himself the things that are presumably within his reach. Why?
These days, so many things have power over us: our phones, our busyness, the things we desperately want that make us feel good or look good, etc. How much of our power do we lose by mindlessly giving in to such things? How much do such things actually control us and thwart our good intentions? This first week of Lent, we might reflect on this: How am I using my God-given powers? Where do I need to restrain myself in order to be more intentional about using those powers for good?
Christina Atienza, OP
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