Why are you downcast, O my soul?
I simply cannot hide my disappointment in the outcome of Charity Bowl 50. Team Denver “won” by raising $16,890, with Charlotte not too far behind at $14,333. But even together, they were not able to raise $50,000.
With the amount of money spent on the Super Bowl, with the capacity of social media to spread ideas instantaneously to millions, the charities in both cities should have exceeded their goals and declared victory for Team Jesus and his works of mercy.
Neilson Ratings reported that more than 111 million people watched Super Bowl 50 — the third largest viewership in TV history. Another statistic I heard on the radio was that the average Super Bowl viewer consumed 6,000 calories yesterday.
You spend how much money to consume 6,000 calories? You spend how much on a team jersey? If every viewer had given $1, Catholic Charities in every diocese around the country could have provided untold support to those in need.
We are all beggars before God.
The idea is that throughout Lent, which begins February 10, you make many small sacrifices, and set aside the money saved to give to those in need. So maybe you skip your morning Starbucks, and then put $3 in a bowl. Another day you forgo meat, and put another few dollars in the bowl. In addition to sacrifice, you can put some change in your bowl for every act of kindness during the day. For example, every time you smile at someone new in a given day, put a quarter in your bowl.
CRS Lenten Prayer
God of all creation,
We welcome you into our lives in a new way this Lent.
We are ready to serve your people, especially
our brothers and sisters who are most in need.
We are ready to live out your call to mercy.
Through our prayers, fasting and Lenten gifts,
may we learn to walk as one global human family.
May we learn to listen to each other, and in so doing
hear the merciful words of Christ. Amen