My son and I went to Mass the other day for our ashes… much to his protest, and the Priest of the day brought up an interesting take on the whole “Giving up something for Lent” thing.
Now I know that not all of you are Catholic, but I feel like it’s a good message in general. He spoke about how The Bible said to celebrate and worship privately, not to boast about what you are doing to get your accolades. This, to me, speaks to what the Pope said recently about fake Christians who talk a big game about their Christian values and then treat the poor and other neighbors with complete disregard.
This country has been torn in half in the last year between the Conservative Christian party that wants to “take care of themselves”. They shouldn’t have to help the poor. They work for their money, why should they give it to someone who needs it? They are opposed to helping refugees who are running scared from extremely dangerous homelands. They spend all their time talking about making their “America Great Again” and to Hell with anyone who is different. Last time I checked this was not what Jesus preached… but they’re opposed to abortion… so they can check that box.
But as I mentioned, this priest spoke of Lent and of fasting and giving up something.. he said that it’s not just important to give something up, but to think of those who don’t have and maybe, just maybe, we could give to them. He brought up how when he was a child he was always made to give up candy, which is an understandable thing for a child, but he always felt it was superficial. The point of fasting is to grow closer to God and to truly give of yourself.
I was thinking of myself.. and recently I thought about giving up coffee.. then I realized that was crazy and not going to help ANYONE… but I thought about other habits similar to that. I thought about the fake Christians and their inability to give up what is theirs for someone else. I was thinking how nice it would be if we all saved the money from whatever we gave up, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, or even shopping at Target for the non-essentials, and taking whatever money we didn’t spend and giving it to a charity of our choice.
I thought what a great thing this could be if we kept it up even after Lent was over. We all say that we would do more for others if we had more money, but we all have our expensive habits… and if we are really on a tight budget, maybe we could do something like give up TV for the 40 days and actually spend the time volunteering. There is always someone who is in more need than us, and if we are going to give something up, wouldn’t it be great if we could give back, like a real Christian… a real HUMAN BEING should do.