Lent: The Season of Solidarity and Empathy

MONDAY: First Week in Lent:


Lent: The Season of Solidarity and Empathy

The French saying, “Chacon pou soi” (each man for himself), and the Creole maxim “Chak bètafé ka kléwé pou lam yo” (each firefly must light up its soul), may differ in expression. However, they condone selfishness; and uphold the principles of survival for the fittest. Together, the two adages, contradict the notion of divine justice and Christian holiness. Holiness empowers people to recognise the triviality of created things and to appreciate the integrity of the human person who is struggling to survive in an unjust world. Injustice depletes men and women of the divine image and strips them of their human dignity.

Holiness is a thrust towards Caritas and Filial love. It is Christian integrity in action. When God calls us to be holy; he is calling us to consider two absolute imperatives. Firstly, to show that we value God above all created things. Secondly, to love one another just as he has loved us. Holiness does not demand us to perform miracles but to accomplish the practical things that are done with a spirit of divine love. Redemption from poverty, illiteracy, oppression, addiction, liberation from hunger, thirst, homelessness is some of the practical things we can do to show the Spirit of Christ is at work in us (Matt.25:23-46). This was Christ's mission to the world (Matt.4:18).

In the spirit of genuine Filial and Caritas love, the integrity of the less fortunate is never compromised. Solidarity exudes its strength; empathy speaks with a clarity that even the deaf, dumb, and enfeeble feel their presence and hear their faintest expression of care and love. God will judge our Christians witness and performance on Christian solidarity and empathy. They are the concurrent themes in Leviticus 19:1-2.12-18 and Matthew 23:31-46.

At the beginning of the Lenten season, God himself and Christ Jesus have set the tone of our Lenten prayer, fast, and penance for us. Prayer is the lifeblood of our communion with God and Christ, but prayer alone will not save us. It will not see us through the Lenten season and the gates of heaven if we fail to incorporate the Corporal Works of Mercy into our Lenten sacrifices. Holiness, in other words, begs us: let go of selfishness; defy the notion of survival of the fittest. Think of becoming Christ for others.

O God, make me a living expression of your solidarity and empathy among your people on earth.

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