Over the weekend before Ash Wednesday members of the Washington, DC, area regions gathered in Potomac, Maryland for a retreat with the Rev. James Greenfield, OSFS, president of DeSales University.
Focusing on the Gospel of John, Father Greenfield discussed the need for conversion, asking us to reflect on what we need to hold on to and what we need to let go. He said that God’s job description is to love us, and that this means we need not be perfect, but that we do need to be faithful, to carry more of life’s complexities with empathy, and to remember that the true Catholic has room for all and does not judge.
The Eucharist, he said, prompts us to wash the smelly, dirty feet of people we don’t like, and it teaches us to let suffering soften our hearts rather than harden them. The martyrdom to which we should aspire is swallowing our pride and living as Jesus did, for others. What a wonderful way to get ready for Lent!