LENT: Investigating God's call to Solidarity
Lent is a time when we pray for a deeper conversion to God's Spirit of love for the world. We turn our gaze inward to become very honest about our failings--not to berate ourselves, but simply to take responsibility for what is, acknowledging our choices and behaviors and the cost they have had on ourselves, our families, our communities, our world. In honestly seeing and acknowledging, we can then offer our heartfelt apology to God and ask for the graces we need to let go of any obstacles that prevent us from growing into all that God beckons us to be. As we travel through this process, the God of Life rushes to meet us in our humility, offering an outstretched hand of compassion and grace.
To facilitate our prayer this season, St. Leo has chosen the theme of solidarity. What does solidarity mean to you? Where do you experience solidarity in parish life? How do you personally practice solidarity? Where does our community, the church, the world cry out for solidarity? How is God asking us to respond to these cries?
As we travel through Lent together, consider participating in the following ways:
- Faith Formation is offering Lenten small faith-sharing groups that will pray and share on scripture, images and experiences of solidarity.
- We will also collectively build an image of a tree in the hospitality area where each person is invited to add their own reflections on solidarity (more to come!).
- There will be a preaching series from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday that focuses on breaking open the Word through the lens of solidarity.
- We will (as is our custom) observe 20 minutes of silence before the weekend liturgies.
- Pastoral care will suspend hospitality during Lent (as is our custom) and we will host a senior luncheon that features a meal and reflections that call forth the experience of the poorest of the world's peoples.
- During the Hunger Retreat youth practice solidarity by walking in the shoes of our neighbors of Tacoma. This includes not only experiencing hunger but volunteering and learning about local organizations like the Food Connection, Nativity House, and the Catholic Worker.
- Children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will reflect on the theme of the "unity and vastness" of creation with materials that help them absorb and reflect on God's desire for all of humanity and all of creation to be united in joy.
- The John 17 Discernment Project invites you to share your reflections on solidarity with the parish.
As Christians, we have a clear call to solidarity. Let us come humbly before our loving and compassionate God this Lent. May we continue to cultivate a docility to the Spirit and a willingness to embrace all that God wants to reveal to us.