Someone handed me a copy of Naked, and You Clothed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle A last week at the Mid-Atlantic Congress. I paged through it and ended up reading the final homily of the book, which happened to be a reflection by Fr. Greg Boyle for the Feast of Christ the King. (Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, an intervention and rehab ministry for gang members.) I knew immediately that I would be reading more of this book.
I read the homily for Ash Wednesday, written by Christine Valters Painter, this morning. Another gem.
“Lent is not second chance at New Year’s Resolutions,” Painter writes, “so I encourage you to consider continuing to eat chocolate.” A compelling way of looking at it, to a guy who has often turned to giving up chocolate for Lent.
Rather than the giving up the sweets, Painter suggests we engage in some prayer of lament this Lent — to refuse to just be “fine” while trying to push past what hurts us in order to focus on “getting over it.” She suggests we lament for the sorrows of our own lives, of those we love, and of those with whom we share this big world. That, Painter notes, is an act of resistance and an act of solidarity with those who are suffering. A very Lenten attitude, I would say.
I recommend getting a copy of Naked, and You Clothed Me, edited by Deacon Jim Knipper and published by Clear Faith Publishing. Proceeds from the sale of the book are donated by the publisher to clothing the homeless and those in need.
God bless your Ash Wednesday and your Lent.