Mk 1: 12-15

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Get with the program

The words and phrases we hear at the beginning of Lent are usually:

Repent and believe the Good News; conversion; prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

But what if we heard, “C’mon folks, get with the program!”

For me, the overriding image and phrase for Lent this year is Jesus saying, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!” Lk 13:34.

Do you ever stop and wonder why as a society or world we still have hunger, starvation, illiteracy, lack of access to good educational opportunities for all people, people who cover the horrors of the pain in their lives through addiction, millions of refugees fleeing war, poverty? The list is endless.

What kind of conversion will it take to love all of God’s people? “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Lk 10:27

Jesus wept over Jerusalem and I believe weeps for us. “The kingdom of God is at hand.” What is the conversion we need to truly get with Jesus’ program?

—Fr. Jim Caime, SJ, is the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Kansas City, MO.

 

Prayer

For your prayer, I invite you to contemplate the video of the song “God Weeps” found here.

—Fr. Jim Caime, SJ