“I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt,” said Pope Francis in preparation for the Lenten Season. Tomorrow is the first day of Lent. Take a moment to allow today’s Gospel to penetrate your heart. Let Christ’s challenging words make you totally uncomfortable and shake you up! It is at the heart of the Lenten season to have our heart stricken and cracked open by the word of Godfor only then will the externals and superficialities fall away, leaving room for the most important, the one and only essentialGod.

Before choosing what you will “sacrifice” this Lenten season, just remember that, if “getting in physical shape” is your goal for Lent, then giving up chocolate or alcohol is your best bet. But, if you desire to respond authentically to Jesus’ radical invitation, then a much harder fast is surely needed.

—Michael Martinez, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Antilles province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.