Lent and the Winter Olympics

We’re here at the end of the first week of Lent (The First Saturday of Lent) and in the middle of the Winter Olympics.  You may wonder what one has to do with the other.  Well, as Catholics we (hopefully) do some kind of penance or preparation for Jesus’ coming death and Resurrection.  You know, the old I’m giving up candy for Lent.

But look at what these athletes have given up for a few dollars worth of gold, silver, or bronze.   They get up early in the morning to practice.  They’ve been doing that since they were little kids.  They’ve developed knowledge and skills that you and I can’t ever hope to have.  They do all this hoping to win a gold medal (which is really gold-plated silver and is worth about $570.  The silver medal is worth about $313 and the bronze has little monetary value).  And, don’t forget their parents who have spent thousands of hours and dollars taking their future Olympians to practice and to competitions.

But these kids (and they are kids ranging in ages from their teen to a few Methuselahs in their thirties) do it for the love of the sport.  Let’s face it, hardly anyone gets rich as a professional skeleton rider.  So, if they’re lucky and very skilled, their years of hard work and sacrifice pay off with a $570 medal, a kiss, and a “thank you very much from a grateful nation.”

You and I have a potential reward that’s beyond our understanding.  We have the opportunity to live forever in paradise.  What do we have to do?  Jesus told us in the Book of John.  “You are my friends if you do what I tell you.  Love one another.”  That’s it!

We don’t have to get up at 4:00 in the morning.  We don’t have to move to a place where we can practice.  We don’t have to spend hours in the cold risking frostbite and broken bones to be the fastest one down the mountain.  We just have to love one another.  That’s it.  Love God.  Love our neighbor.  Love ourselves.

It doesn’t take hours of practice.  We just have to practice the golden rule.

But, I still love watching the Olympics.

Photos from Getty Images

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