Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings

“All good giving and every good gift is from above.”  This word that we have from St. James today is so encouraging on this Mardi Gras day.  As we get ready for the spiritual rigors of Lent, we might be tempted to see our fasting, almsgiving and prayer as onerous and undesirable.  But when we realize that everything that we have is a gift from God, and that God gives us everything that we need, we might find it a bit easier to give up something, to reach out to the poor, and to enliven our prayer lives.  Every good gift is from above, and taking forty days out to remember that is a joyous thing indeed.

I’ve often said that Ash Wednesday is my least favorite day on the Church calendar.  I say that because it’s a long and tiring day, and those who don’t come to Mass regularly don’t get that they have to do that to receive ashes; they can’t get them when they want to – we have a schedule, and a generous one at that. So the day often leaves me frustrated and tired and not at all in the right frame of mind for Lent.

The last week or so, God has been pounding on my door and pushing back against my hardness of heart.  He’s challenged me to see the blessing: people coming for something only the Church can give, an opportunity to evangelize and connect people to the love of God, a chance to use the penance of the day to grow in my own spiritual life. God blesses us all the time, sometimes we just need to change our minds to see it.

Every good gift is from above, and that is certainly a great joy!