In our Lent Devotional for Women today, we’re talking about the original attachment parenting model, God the Father. First, before we get into this much, are you seeing a common thread so far in this Lent Devotional for Women?
Now, in a scripture passage from Ezekiel, we read a repeated string of “I…” God is so hands-on with us it’s not even funny. There is nothing we can do, no where we can go or anything we face that He doesn’t already know about. And yet, we worry our pretty little heads off on a daily basis as if He wasn’t hands-on parenting the whole time. Let’s dig a little deeper in the readings for today.
Today’s readings (in the extraordinary form) are so beautiful. First, we have the scriptures from Ezekiel describing our Lord’s careful and attentive love for us. Our Lord states, “I Myself will seek my sheep…I will visit my sheep…I will bring them out…I will feed them…I will cause them to lie down…I will seek…I will bring…I will bind…I will strengthen…I will preserve.”
We have a hands-on, possessive Father!
And in the Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46, God shows us that He wants us to imitate Him and be hands-on as well. This Gospel is all about the Works of Mercy. Do you realize we have the opportunity every.single.day to perform the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy?
We started with reading about all that God does for us and then followed it with Jesus reminder that all we do for the least, we actually do for Him.
Is it just me or do they not seem as, I don’t know, “spiritual” as if we performed them in the local homeless shelter on a cold, winter’s day or with our Church ministries and programs or even as an adventurous missionary in a far away land! Who volunteers to clean the church, work in the soup kitchen or hold babies in the daycare, but when called ot do those same things at home, well, we can get a touch grumpy. Just me? Figures.
*Quickly in case you didn’t know the Works of Mercy they are divided into two groups: Corporal and Spiritual. The Corporal Works of Mercy are: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead. The Spiritual Works of Mercy are: instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinner, forgive offenses, comfort the afflicted, bear wrongs patiently, pray for the living and the dead.
How much more love would I put into getting a sippy cup of water if I considered doing it as a Corporal Work of Mercy for one of the least of my Father’s children? Instead, sometimes I feel like I’m serving an unruly crowd that can never be satisfied! Now, you may put all the love you can possibly squeeze into it already…me? Not so much all the time. What if I undertook meal planning and preparation as if serving God instead of stinky soccer players, or moody children, or siblings who pick the living daylights out of each other?
God very plainly states in the scriptures, “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” I’ve talked before about a lovely quote from St. Therese, “Nothing except for today.” I need these words tattooed across my hands so I could see them constantly! Not only would those words unburden me from the replay in my head of the phrase, “I always do this…and I always do that…and what do I get in return…do they even say thank you…” Those words and the reminder from Jesus of how to serve Him by serving the least of His gives me a very concrete focus to live and serve all day, every day.
Today I will look on the task of _______________________ as if doing it directly for my God and do it FULL of love by choice, not by feeling, just for today.
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