First Tuesday of Lent

Readings: Is 55: 10-11 / Ps 34: 4-7, 16-19 / Mt 6: 7-15

Today’s readings instruct us on effectively communicating with God. The Lord’s word is potent and powerful, we are reminded. But what about us?  How do we position ourselves to be heard by God?  By leading lives of humility, justice, and goodness.  By trusting God in times of distress.  And what language should we use when calling on the Lord?  We are told to keep it simple.

I am drawn to the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer in the gospel.  “In praying, do not babble like pagans, who think they will be heard because of their many words.” If all speech is a form of prayer when undertaken “Ad Majorem Dei Gloria” (for the greater glory of God), as the Jesuits taught me in high school, then today’s lessons on how to pray can apply equally to our communications with each other. Are we then called to tweet, to limit ourselves to 280 characters?

Perhaps nothing so extreme.  But I believe we are invited to be thoughtful and precise in what we say and write.  To be fair in choosing our words, humble in expressing them, and ever aware of our role in addressing the needs of the poor and brokenhearted.  When we speak to others, we also speak to God.

Michael Campbell
Charles Widger School of Law