Lent persons

Lent, a Time to Recognize That Other Persons are a Gift

The forty days of Lent have begun and Jesus invites us to recognize that other people are a gift to us.

Sometimes, we can miss this invitation of Christ. Often, as we were taught as a child, we view Lent as a time to give up sweets. While making little sacrifices during Lent is certainly not a bad activity to do, we must recognize that Jesus also calls us to a sincere conversion of heart. This conversion must include an ability to look outward from our own needs and desires to recognize what is happening around us and in the lives of those we meet.

Pope Francis this year in his Message for Lent invites us to see each other as a gift, seeing in all people the face of Christ.

“Lazarus teaches us that other persons are a gift. A right relationship with people consists in gratefully recognizing their value. Even the poor person at the door of the rich is not a nuisance, but a summons to conversion and to change. The parable first invites us to open the doors of our heart to others because each person is a gift, whether it be our neighbor or an anonymous pauper. Lent is a favorable 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.”

As we go forward during this season of Lent, let us think concretely of ways that we can foster an appreciation for the people God sends us each day and open our hearts to them.

- Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)

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