“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.”
Born Pauline Friedman, Abigail Van Buren was best known for her “Dear Abby'' column and the witty, commonsense advice she gave hundreds of millions of readers. In 1955, Van Buren wrote to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle to offer her services as an advice columnist, choosing her pen name from the biblical figure whom King David praised for her wise counsel. In her column, she championed the rights of women, Jews, African Americans, and other groups.
Jesus was often criticized for not hanging with the right crowd. The religious leaders of the time would not associate with anyone that was consider unclean according to Jewish law. Jesus flipped the entire social construct on its head, evident into today’s Gospel.
All of us, admiringly or not, have sinned in this life and will sin again. Lent is our time to focus on the areas of our life where we allow ourselves to detach from God.
Through prayer, fasting, almsgiving, we challenge ourselves to fall in love with Christ. To make his will are will. To follow the example he set for us.
When is the last time you’ve spoken to someone who hurt you? When is the last time you saw someone sitting alone and sat next to them? When is the last time you had a conversation in line at the grocery store with a stranger instead of burying your face in your phone or the tabloid?
Make today the day you hold yourself accountable. Ask God to give you the strength and the virtues you need to leave no one marginalized any longer. For we are all His children, we are all one body. We need all of the parts of the body to work…
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