So, here we are at Lent 2021. The Lord has brought us to this place at this time by   ways we never imagined. After a year of pandemic, political turmoil and a wistful wondering  “what’s next,” we come to Lent with a feeling of smallness and confusion. How are we going to make it through this moment?  Start off  by thanking God for love and mercy, for sparing us to this time and place for one more season.

I recall a poem by African-American poet Nikki Giovanni, “Mercy”:
She asks me to kill the spider.
Instead, I get the most
peaceful weapons I can find.
I take a cup and a napkin,
I catch the spider, put it outside
and allow it to walk away.
If I am ever caught in the wrong place
at the wrong time, just being alive
And not bothering anyone,
I hope I am greeted
with the same kind
of mercy.

Patty Benoit