The Measure of Love

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

I observe my dog as she makes her way into the veterinary office, ready for her annual checkup. At sixteen years old, she is no longer "showroom new", as her face is now gray and arthritis slows her down. Once we are with the vet, I explain what has changed since our last visit: my dog can no longer jump up on the bed, she will not go up stairs, and she has difficulty getting into the car. The vet senses the melancholy in my voice. She pets the dog and smiles, and looking at me, says, "Well, that's what you're there for."As I get older, Lent becomes less a time of recounting my sins. It is a time when I sense how things have changed in my life. I consider the situations over which I have no control. The challenge of the season is how to stand firm in faith during those moments. The journey of Lent is a time of counting on the power of Jesus to keep me firm and steady, when the ground below me shifts. All around me, there are people for whom the journey has become more difficult. They do not need my judgment or my opinion. They need me to stand with them in the power of Jesus. I must realize that's what I am here for.

Reflection based on Luke 6:36-38
Monsignor Gregory E.S. Malovetz

Mighty God, when life shifts and changes, help me to stand
firm in faith. Let my life be measure in love.

Today's suggested penance: Do some extraordinary kindness to someone who would never expect it.