Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent

by Joan Castagnone

abstract art

I think today’s readings pose two very familiar questions:

Why me?

Why not me?

We feel the anguish and longing and anger. Are there answers? Remedies? Probably not, I think, when I read in the Psalm, the despairing lament, “my bones are consumed.” The human condition is, after all, the human condition.

Or wait! Is there is balm for the wounds? At the end of the Gospel, Jesus says, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve…”

One of the less mysterious and more doable pronouncements in the Bible — service! — an item that I can put on my to-do list and check off proudly…or not. But I think the service Jesus is talking about is not so much a task as a way of being in the world, of living into the generosity and humility that defies our daily risk and reward calculations. A service that is freely given. It doesn’t answer “Why me?” or “Why not me? Or assure that “This will help me a lot.” But it is something that can deepen into mutuality and trust that makes the world a less lonely and frightening place.

Maybe…. Who knows?

But it’s worth a try.