Lent reflection for 11 March

A child in the Philippines is watched by a smiling adult as he bites into a slice of watermelon

A child in the Philippines enjoys a slice of watermelon.

“O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts…” 

Psalm 94:7-8

Lent is a time of conversion. The Greek term for this is metanoia, which means turning around. It implies a radical shift in our attitudes and priorities. These two lines from today’s psalm in many ways sum up this challenge; we reorient ourselves so we can listen deeply to God with open hearts. 

The temptation to harden our hearts, however, is often present. In a world full of suffering and need, it is tempting to choose to look away and keep others at a safe distance.  

Jesus shows us a different way. His response to those in need is always to show compassion and to reach out. Pope Francis, in his recent reflection on the parable of the Good Samaritan, challenges us “to be changed by our contact with human suffering”. (Fratelli Tutti, #68).  

It is when we do this, when we listen to God’s voice, open ourselves in vulnerability and allow our hearts to be moved by compassion, that our Lenten conversion truly becomes a reality. May our hearts be changed and renewed so that we can celebrate joyfully the new life that Easter brings. 

Lent prayer

God of compassion, may I always listen to your voice and seek to serve others with an open and tender heart. Amen. 

Act

Spend some time in quiet prayer today, listening to God’s voice. You may wish to use this prayer as a starting point.

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