The Advent liturgy suggested that we discover how much the Father wants us to be happy and to welcome his benevolence.
The liturgy of Lent invites us to make a commitment to being as ‘benevolent as he is’. It is a matter of looking at Jesus, the face of the Father, and to live benevolence in the way he did, to “go about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
Who among us has not been marked by the benevolence of a person? And, when we think about it, we again feel the joy and the life that this person awakened in us. We are all sensitive to the least bit of attention, the little gestures of welcome and kindness that we have received.
And, through spiritual rereading, we can recognize more fully the benevolence of the Father in these gestures of love.
We can also become more aware of the benevolence we ourselves live by being open to others.
In rereading our lived experience we also become more attentive to the goodness that is being lived around us and in the world.
This value is on the lookout for the well-being of others. It is at the very heart of our relationships. It can awaken within each person their capacity for relationships, sometimes dormant, and help them live the best of themselves. This was the preoccupation Jesus had in all his encounters. The story of Zacchaeus is a good example. How many others have had the chance to experience the joy of salvation because of the benevolent attitudes of Jesus?
In our history, we notice that Mother Marie de St-Charles focused her attention on benevolence, the mark so significant of the charism of the Daughter of Jesus.
In her letters or in her personal notes she would often speak of charity. On August 10, 1874, she noted “…to renew myself in tender and cordial charity filled with kindness and compassion.” Is this not how we can live benevolence the way Jesus did and “ go about doing good” as he did?
Denise Héroux, d.j.