At Catholic Social Services, we follow the call of Scripture to "pray for one another." We are guided by faith to care for each person's physical, material, mental, and spiritual well-being.
We invite you to join us in prayer for the people we are blessed to serve, including individuals and families struggling with poverty, loneliness, addictions, and hardships. There is a wonderful sense of personal connection, community, and spiritual power released when people pray together.
We reflect on the readings of Psalm 107, John 3:14-21, and Ephesians 2:1-10, as we journey through the season of Lent.
We begin our reflection today with the words of Psalm 107.
In verse 9 we read "God satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things". This reminds us of the third practice encouraged during Lent, that of almsgiving. When we speak about almsgiving, we aren't just referring to giving money. Almsgiving can take many forms: it can mean sharing my time, my talents with others; perhaps I have a younger sister or brother who needs extra attention, so instead of going on my X-box, I "waste" time with him or her.
Many of our students have saved money to buy things needed by vulnerable women and children. So why give alms? Our answer is found in the Gospel of John: "God so loved the world that God gave God's only Son, Jesus, so that all who might believe in Him may have eternal life".
John says, "All", not just a select few; not just those who can go to school, who have clothing to wear, who know where their next meal will come from or who know their home is safe. All, means all our sisters and brothers: those who go to bed hungry every night or who hide out in refugee camps because their homeland has been destroyed by war; those who have no possibility of getting an education. You and I, who believe in Jesus, the Light of the world, are called to bring light into the darkness of those who are suffering, who have lost hope. As we are reminded in Paul's letter to the Ephesians, you and I "have been saved through faith", which is God's gift to us. God has "created us in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our WAY OF LIFE".
After a few moments of silence, the following, or a similar prayer might be said:
Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross, for love of me and all my sisters and brothers. I thank you for the gift of believing in your love and understanding that you call me to bring your love to others, to practice almsgiving at all times, but especially during the season of Lent. Help me to remember and to put into practice the words of St. Teresa of Avila: "Christ has no body now but yours…" (see YouTube- several versions provided; the more well-known melody, as well as others with a different melody and nature scenes in the background; also one that is a very graphic depiction of the crucifixion)
For more information about our Spiritual Care Team, email Sister MaryClare Stack at MaryClare.Stack@cssalberta.ca.