Journeying Together is a weekly series of Lenten reflections. Each Monday during Lent, a student or adult from the Prep community will share a reflection, which will be archived here. Our first reflection comes from Ms. Boreta Singleton, director of faculty formation and chair of the religion department.

In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus calls us to do what Mr. Ryan O’Connell reminded us to do on Ash Wednesday here at Prep: Take a step back and a step forward.

The step back: In this scene from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is in the desert, discerning His Father’s  mission for Him through prayer and fasting. He is visited by the Devil, who tempts him to flaunt His divinity by performing “magic” tricks and displaying allegiance to Satan.  Jesus beats the Devil at his own game, and knows that He must be true to His Father in Heaven. 

I have never been faced with such a dramatic life-changing scene, but this Gospel passage speaks to me about taking the time to listen to God, who is always going to help me and you  to become the best people we can be. St. Ignatius of Loyola tells us ( and rightfully so!) that the good we want for ourselves is the same good that God wants for us.  

How do we find out the good things that God wants for us?  We can begin by listening. 

 When I was in First Grade, my teacher, Sister Mary Cecilia, told us that God gives us two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we talk. I still carry Sister’s saying with me even though sometimes I struggle to  listen to God and to others. Lent is a wonderful time for us to take some time out to go to a quiet place and listen to God speak to your heart about the hopes and dreams God has for you. Can you be quiet for 30 seconds today and add 5 seconds every day this week? During that time, what might God say to you? 

The step forward:  Jesus could not stay in the desert because after his forty days of fasting and prayer, He had a good sense of what God wanted him to do. So we, too, are called to action. Here at Prep we have our Mission Drive, which assists the Jesuit Missions we serve. But our care and concern does not end when the Mission Drive ends.  We are all called to care for our brothers and sisters in need. You may think, “I don’t have money, time or resources to help other people in need.” I think we care for those who are in need by first being aware of what is happening around us. During this Lent and beyond, I am trying to be more mindful of our Earth. What am I throwing away or wasting?  How might I be more mindful of the Earth’s resources and the manner in which I use them? Here is the story of The Recycled Orchestra. After you watch it, you may want to pay closer attention to what you are throwing away every day.

 For example, what food are you throwing away after a meal?  Can you use a reusable water bottle instead of single serving plastic bottles of water? Can you donate gently used clean clothing to a local thrift store? All of these small actions help us to care for our Earth so that  we and our brothers and sisters around the world can live with less pollution. 

May your Lenten journey bring you ever closer to our gracious God! 

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