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Lenten Reflection for the second week of Lent

The care given by those who serve our elders is often not seen as a glamorous undertaking. That care is comprised mostly of small, usually unnoticed, daily acts. Whether it’s scrubbing pans after a meal in the dining room, poking a finger to test blood sugar, replacing a light bulb in a tenant’s room, staring hard at a budget spreadsheet, picking up dirty linen, accompanying a resident as she walks ever so slowly down a hallway, or countless other simple acts of service, we may not be struck silent with awe to witness any of them.

Unless, we look with the eye of our heart.

The Gospel passage heard in many churches this second week of Lent takes us to a mountaintop where three of Jesus’ disciples are struck silent with awe when “his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.”

Could it be that the disciples were gazing upon their friend and rabbi with the eyes of their heart? Could it be that they were seeing Jesus as if for the first time, seeing something of the divine in this human form? Seeing something extraordinary in this person made of flesh and bone like anyone else? Could that dazzling change have happened, not with Jesus, but in the disciples’ vision?

Simple acts of care, of hospitality, of respect and service expressed by ordinary folk have the capacity to strike us silent with awe if we attend to them with the eye of our heart.


Jim Smith, Benedictine director, mission integration