Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth. –Psalm 86:11
Every four years we have an extra day in our calendar. An extra day! Twenty-four additional hours! I have been thinking about what I could do with an extra day. There is a function at school in the evening that is on my calendar to attend but the rest of the day is open to anything that I want to do. It is Saturday, so that is laundry time for me. I also workout with a friend in the morning. But still, time for something different if I can resist the temptation to fill it up with “things to do”.
The readings for today focus on our call to follow God. Three days into Lent and the Church continues to remind us that it is a time to grow closer to God. A time to reflect on how we are building up the Kingdom of God. Keeping the Sabbath and helping others in a time of need. Isaiah reminds us of the spiritual gifts that are given to us when we do good things for others and when our mind and heart are focused on God.
In the Gospel Jesus calls Levi, a tax collector, to follow him. Now in the Gospel the next line is, “And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him”. So, he walked away from all the money that he was collecting at the customs post. I wonder how long that stayed on the table before people started grabbing the money? I am sure he was not popular with the Roman authority over this and the scriptures never mention that the authorities came after him. I would think he would be afraid to do such a thing. When Jesus called Levi that had to be a powerful spiritual experience for him to be moved to just leave everything behind.
Maybe that is what this extra day is about. Leaving the ordinary Saturday tasks for something extraordinary. Taking time for quiet reflection. Listening to music and taking time to just be. To enjoy the “extra” day as a gift to be explored rather than filling it up. I see Lent as a time to allow myself more experiences of just being. To read the Sunday readings and ponder them. To not turn on the television and fill the house with useless noise and spending time in silence. May you enjoy your extra day and discover what extraordinary experiences await you. Happy Lent!
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.