During Lent we have asked some of our church members, friends, and staff to respond to a one-word prompt. The word prompts reflect some of the themes we will be hearing in the Sunday Gospels.
Temptation… Awe… Change… Forgiveness… Judgment… Passion
Third Sunday of Lent | March 24, 2019 | “Change”
It’s easy to get set in our habits and attitudes. Sometimes the notion of us changing seems too hard to even consider. The thought of us doing things differently can make us strongly resist in our heads and hearts. “Change” can threaten our ego, encroach on our comfort, diminishes our sense of control and conjure up logical reasons within us to simply stay the same.
Our inner selves might say: “I understand the situation very well so why should I change what I think? There are systems in place that have worked out nicely (for us) for years, so why change now? Others don’t seem to worry about, so why should I?” Do these sound familiar?
That’s why Jesus, the Gospels and the Lenten Season are calls for us to think about, pray on and actively work at changing to make sure ours are God’s ways. Then, and only then, do we truly live as disciples.
Vincent Guider is a Chicago native, a member of the Old St. Patrick’s Staff and Director of the North Lawndale Kinship Initiative.
I hope I won’t scandalize anyone here by saying that the Catholic Church needs to change. For better or for worse we all know change comes slow (we’re talking glacial here). I’ll be honest, change scares me. But as I reflect on this prompt in light of our current state of crisis, while changing scares me, not changing scares me even more.
As a youth minister, I constantly think about how dramatically my relationship with God has changed since I myself was a youth ministry kid. I know that being easily changed is not wise, and that’s not what I’m suggesting. I am aware of the times in my own life when I have changed most deeply. Those times have always been movements toward greater holiness. That is change that doesn’t scare me.
In the wake of the Church’s sex abuse crisis, the Church needs to embrace deep and transformative change.
Carly Ann Braun is a youth minister and Catholic Worker interested in good food, community, and intentionally living Gospel values. When she’s not drinking coffee at her desk, she’s probably roller skating.
Change makes us uneasy. It’s the threshold between before and after. If you’ve ever watched any home improvement show, I’m talking about the part of the show where the house is ripped apart, a few issues are uncovered, and the homeowners think to themselves, “What have we done? This will never be done!”
In a way, they are right!
Over the span of 2 years, my life has gone through periods of incredible change: Purchasing my first home, getting married, starting a new job, earning a promotion, being a part of 2 families, and we’re just about to take on adoption! These changes are all incredibly different from one another but they all taught me the same lesson.
Change is rarely fast. We have grown accustomed to a fast paced world and that falsely leads us to believe that change can be just as fast. Sure small changes can be quick and painless, but change that challenges us to be better, more loving, and more receptive to the truth take much longer – but won’t it be worth the wait?
Kevin Funk has been involved at Old St. Pat’s for several years and leads our Gay+ Group.