Bishop Karen Oliveto's Weekly Message (2/25/23)

February 27, 2023
I am praying for the clergy and laity of the Mountain Sky Conference as we prepare for the little Easter known as Sunday.
I grew up in a largely Italian Catholic community. Every Lent, I listened in wonder as my Catholic schoolmates discussed what they were giving up for Lent. It was mainly food: Oreos, various candies, and meat. It would be a couple of decades before this United Methodist thought about a Lenten fast.

John Wesley fasted weekly. He felt this spiritual discipline helped him grow in his love of God and neighbor as it freed up time to study the Bible and engage in acts of compassion.
This Lent, I am reflecting on those things that fill up my time that keep me from deepening my love of God and neighbor. What thoughts, behaviors, obsessions, and desires distract me from the life Jesus asks of me? What causes me to stray and stumble in my discipleship? How can a fast from these things help reorient my soul?

May you consider your own Lenten fast. What can you let go of for the Lenten journey that can assist you in your walk with Jesus? How can it lead you more deeply into a life grounded in love?

With love,
Bishop Karen