It’s tempting to let our Lenten fast play double-duty: we give up sweets, hoping to drop a few pounds; we fast from our snooze button, hoping the boss might notice our early arrival.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus addresses these ulterior motives. The point of Lent is not outward action, but interior transformation that makes a difference in our spiritual lives – which might not be seen by those around us. Eventually, though, these subtle changes of the heart will become evident in our relationships, decisions, and actions.

I don’t think Jesus is saying that we shouldn’t let anyone know about our Lenten commitments. Certainly I think St. Ignatius would tell us not to ignore the importance of community in our spiritual lives. So beyond determining what interior change might be needed, let’s ask ourselves who we trust to help keep us on track and encourage us all the way to Easter?

—Rachel Forton is the Marketing & Retreat Coordinator for Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.


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