This year, Catholic Relief Services has stressed the importance of “encounter” throughout the Lenten season, as introduced by Pope Francis in his recent 2017 Lenten message. He shares:
Lent is a favourable season for opening the doors to all those in need and recognizing in them the face of Christ. Each of us meets people like this every day. Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love. The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable. – Pope Francis
Recently, I have noticed that while I try to seek the best in others and try my best to give others the benefit of the doubt, I still find myself struggling to do so. Given the current climate, it has been quite the struggle. At the same time, I realize that others may struggle to find the best part in me, especially when I trip up or say or do things that are not in line with the person that I desire to be. Or, they may just give up completely and dismiss me quickly. That’s also a possibility! Still, I have been trying my best to see where God is present, and has been present throughout my day, and thought that Lent could be a good time to be more intentional in doing this. Let’s see how it goes!
If you have not yet picked up your rice bowl or want to be more intentional with the Lenten acts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, I highly recommend checking out the following website: CRS Rice Bowl or downloading the app <– SUPER convenient!