Lenten program taps the Golden Rule

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz rubbed a cross in ash on the forehead of a churchgoer on Ash Wednesday 2017. This Lent, Catholics are invited to take part in a Lenten reflection called “Journey to Be Gold.” (Record File Photo)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

This Lent, the faithful of the Archdiocese of Louisville are invited to embark on a “Journey to Be Gold.”

The Journey to Be Gold is a Lenten program developed Catholic Charities of Louisville and the Office of Worship. It invites Catholics to reflect on ways to live out Jesus’ call to treat others — all others — as we want to be treated during the penitential season.

Last month, Catholic Charities launched “Be Golden,” a community initiative that encourages people to practice the Golden Rule with a particular focus on immigrants and refugees.

Deacon Lucio Caruso, director of mission at Catholic Charities, said the intention behind the Lenten program is to provide an opportunity for individuals to reflect on the Golden Rule while on the path to the “glory of Easter.”

“The whole point of Lent is a journey. We are not all golden yet. Lent is a time to prepare for the golden glory of Easter and beyond,” he said in an interview last week.

Parishes, schools and other organizations recently received a packet of resources designed to supplement Lenten programs at parishes. The resources are intended to be used to prepare prayer services, Scripture studies and service opportunities.

The packet also includes conversation prompts from church documents, prepared prayer resources from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, suggested Scripture passage, hymns and songs. There are also sample prayer intentions and homily and reflection starters.

During Lent, Deacon Caruso said, people typically think of giving something up but he said Catholics can also consider adding tangible practices “to better follow Jesus” in their Lenten journey.

Suggested action items and service opportunities are broken down into four categories: at home, at work, in the community and with other organizations.

Suggestions include:

– Talk to your children about how calling others names, being mean to another, or picking on someone who seems different are not acceptable ways of treating other human beings;

– Treat all workers as professionals, not just the highly-paid or well-educated ones;

– Advocate for a living wage, especially for the numbers of working poor;

– Smile at people who are a different race or ethnicity than you, and look them in the eye;

– Write the mayor’s office supporting the availability of low-income housing and expanding services for the homeless;

– Volunteer to help serve a meal at the Cathedral lunch program or help at St. John Center.

“These concrete suggestions are things we can do in our everyday workplaces, our community, in our families,” Deacon Caruso said.

He said he hopes the Lenten program can bring some unity to parishioners in the archdiocese.

“Understanding the climate we are in right now, the division, I think we are desperate to find a point of unity. We need that in our church, in wider society and in politics,” he said.

He sees the Golden Rule as something all people can get behind, the idea to treat others how you want to be treated. Christians are not only called to welcome those that share the same skin color, language or homeland, but we are called to reach our hearts and hands to those who society says are less than, such as migrants and refugees who’ve been forced to flee their homes and countries.

“What if it were me or my child or my brothers and sisters? That’s the heart of the Golden Rule — what if it were me?” he said.

Visit begoldden.cclou.org for a complete list of the Journey to Be Gold resources and suggestions.

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