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Kerry WeberFebruary 27, 2024
iStock/VladimirVladimirov

A Reflection for Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Find today’s readings here

Believe the works, so that you may realize and understand.

Lent is perhaps the liturgical season during which we are most likely to publicly proclaim What We Are Doing for Christ. Whether giving up sweets or taking up a daily rosary (or perhaps any one of 99 other options), we often feel eager to ask or to tell others about our specific attempt to pray, fast or give. This openness about our own efforts can be a good way to support one another during a challenging 40 days. It is healthy to talk about how these practices change us and bring us closer to one another or to God. But it can also become just that: simply talk. It is easy to speculate or theorize about the best ways to observe Lent. It’s another thing altogether to do it. 

Today’s Gospel also reminds us that our good works should indeed be works, not empty words. Jesus says in response to those who criticize his claim to be the Son of God: “If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Our own claims are more simple and yet still similar. We want our lives to show that we are children of God, that through our lives we live out God’s will. It is easy to get caught up in the question of how others define us, to allow that question to hold power over us. But Jesus reminds us that the way in which we live our lives is the clearest way to convey who we are. If we define ourselves as members of the body of Christ, we must do our best to act as such. We will fail, of course, but Lent is a good time to course correct, to throw in with all the other imperfect people trying to do better in order to build a world that more perfectly embodies God’s kingdom here on earth.

More: Scripture / Lent

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