NETWORK Lobby invites you to join your Lent 2022 journey with ours. Our weekly Lenten lesson includes reflections and a video series on individual bias and racism and racist policy built into the US tax code

Lent 2022: Lent Calls us To Recognize Our Limits

Lent 2022, Week 2: Lent Calls us To Recognize Our Limits

This Sunday’s Gospel, the Transfiguration, offers a vivid account of the disciples being shown what was hidden from them, the divine reality of Jesus’ identity. We too must strive to recognize the divine in every person and learn to reverence them and their stories in ways that reflect and honor the truth embedded in them. 

View other 2022 Lenten Reflections: Ash Wednesday | Week 1 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

Sr. Erin Zubal, OSU
March 11, 2022

Watch Tax Justice For All – Week 2 (at 7:47)

In this week’s reflection we’ll explore inequities and racist policies embedded in our tax structures with individual and family scenarios. I encourage you to reflect on financial issues like college savings and student loan debt, and how they impact communities disparately. For instance, student debt and slower income growth are among drivers of the growing racial wealth gap.

More than 84% of college-educated Black households in their 30’s have student debt, up from 35% three decades ago, when today’s Baby Boomers were the same age. The amount of debt has also soared higher. Yet, many older people assume that today’s young adults have the same advantages they did and should have no problem achieving the similar success.

Questions for reflection:

  1. What are privileges I enjoy in my life without fully appreciating it?
  2. When have I avoided seeing or recognizing the suffering of another person?
  3. How does it make me feel, emotionally and physically, to realize the depth of the disadvantage or injustice faced by another person?
  4. What keeps me from recognizing God in every person?

Thank you to NETWORK Grassroots Mobilization team members Sr. Emily TeKolste, SP and Colin Martinez Longmore for leading us through these lessons. We’ll watch more together next week!

Lent calls us to repent

In Lent, God challenges us to let go of pride and recognize our limits and our dependence on the divine. When we fast during Lent, we seek to escape the limits of our experience by being in solidarity with those who go without food and feeling the pain of hunger even briefly. But we also need to recognize the limits of our perspective and life experience in other areas.

When we only experience our own background and its privileges, it’s easy to assume that everyone is like us. In many ways, I had to become a social worker providing direct service in the county jail to realize what I had taken for granted growing up as a middle class white woman in Ohio. Those early years as a social worker, and then as an educator, formed and shaped me to be a better woman religious, social worker, and educator who could name and understand her privilege. Pope Francis preaches integral ecology, which is the recognition that we are all interconnected. This recognition should extend to our neighbors we can’t see. Especially those pushed into the margins in ways we don’t understand and are disadvantaged by our very laws and policies.

Good and gracious God, as we prepare ourselves to share in the joy of Easter, open our hearts and minds. Help us to see what we would rather not see, especially the suffering caused by the injustice of systemic racism. Help us reflect on these painful realities and see them for what they are. Help us to avoid despair and to move from reflection to action, galvanized by your Spirit. Grant us the courage to speak out and the clarity to cooperate with your grace in building the world anew. Amen. NETWORK Prayer to Move from Reflection to Action