Throughout the season of Lent,
members of the CBU community will offer weekly reflections in order to prepare
our hearts and minds for the Easter celebration in 40 days. Reflections will be posted each Monday during
Lent on the various university social media platforms. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback.
Reading: from the Gospel of Mathew, Chapter 6:
"Beware of practicing your piety before others in
order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in
heaven. So whenever
you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the
synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I
tell you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right
hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees
in secret will reward you… Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up
for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and
where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your
heart will be also.”
As a staff member of both student life and campus ministry,
I have the unique opportunity to work with a wide variety of students. One of the questions I often get from many
students is, “Wilson, do you have any advice for me?” Now, I’m not naïve enough to believe that I’m
the only staff or faculty member who gets that question; but the question
always catches me by surprise. Usually
after a lengthy conversation, my advice comes down to the following:
Now, I was born and raised a Methodist; educated in the
Episcopalian and Catholic traditions; and have family members who are
Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, and Church of Christ. Exposed to so many different denominations,
Ash Wednesday has always been a central part of my faith journey. One of my mentors told me, the ashes are an
“outward sign of an inward commitment.”
During these forty days, we commit ourselves to living simple humility.
I would encourage you to take moments daily to be self-aware; to examine the
ways in which God is leading you; and to remember that God’s timing is not our
timing. Prayerful self-reflection is the beginning of true humility.
Our Gospel reading today reminds us that true reward
comes to those whose focus is not on “I or me,” but rather on “us and
them.” Too often, we think of ways to
get ahead; compare ourselves to one another; and view wealth and/or success as
measures of personal worth. Yet,
scripture suggests those who give selflessly of their time, talent, and
treasure in the service of others attain the greatest wealth.
Today, as you receive ashes, let them serve as the outward
sign of the promises you’ve made and the gift you must be to others: to live
simply and walk humbly; to invest fully in the opportunities afforded you; and
to trust in God’s providence on your journey.
The Galleon is curated and managed by Christian Brothers University, a Memphis-based university founded in the Lasallian tradition (a sect within the Catholic faith). Part of our founding mission is to uphold respect for all persons-regardless of political, religious, or social beliefs. As an institution, we take no stand on political matters; to do so would undermine our commitment to intellectual inquiry and thoughtful response to events taking place in our World by members of the CBU community.