I read some of Pope Francis’ Lenten address a few days ago and I keep thinking about something he said: this is a paraphrase but his call is for us to give up “indifference” for Lent. He continued to say that if all who claim to be Christian actually cared and acted out of a place of love and compassion the world would be a very different place.
This simple truth hit me in a profound way. I had never thought of “indifference” as a luxury item or an indulgence, but it is when I really think about it. Because I live in the Western World, because I’m a middle-class male, because I live a privileged life I can afford to be indifferent to the struggles and injustices of the world if I so choose. Indifference may be the most powerful and most difficult evil this world has to overcome.
In Luke’s temptation story Jesus is very intentional that all his decisions are faithful and spirit led–there is nothing indifferent in Jesus’ being and living. He is decisive and those who follow him have to make a definite decision to leave behind one way of life and pick up another–the Way of Christ.
So this Lent I’m not giving up television or chocolate; I think I’ll take the Pope’s advice to heart and try to give up indifference. I suspect it may be a little exhausting–O well.