In this season of Lent, we’re called to reflect deeply on our lives, especially how we give to others. Often we’re caught between two ideas: the belief in self-reliance, where everyone is responsible for themselves, and the expectation that welfare systems should take care of those in need. But there’s a deeper way to help those in need – a way that goes beyond material aid.

Time, more than any other resource, is finite. When we choose to spend time with someone, especially someone in need, we’re not just giving them minutes and hours; we’re sharing a part of ourselves. That sharing is an act of love, an offering of hope. It’s more than a handout; it’s a hand extended in solidarity and compassion.

This personal touch in helping others is essential. While providing immediate necessities is vital, fostering a relationship in which we teach and empower is of greater value. It’s not just about feeding a fish for a day, it’s about teaching him how to fish for a lifetime. This investment of time and personal commitment makes a real difference – not only in the lives of those we serve, but in our own.

In these shared moments, we see the face of Jesus in those in need. As we reach out to them, they see Jesus in us. This mutual exchange transforms both giver and receiver. We’re reminded that in giving, we receive; in teaching, we learn; and in loving, we are loved. This Lent, let’s commit to being generous with our time, to building relationships that uplift, and to seeing the divine in every act of genuine help. In doing so, we enrich our lives and theirs by truly embodying the spirit of Christ’s love and compassion.

Fr. Lino Otero, L.C.
Director of Regnum Christi Movement, Atlanta at Regnum Christi | + posts

Originally from Nicaragua, my family moved to Miami, Florida when I was a teenager.  Soon afterwards I experienced the call to serve God without reservations.  Since then, I have had experience in hospital ministry, working as a middle school teacher, leading a parish school, organizing soccer tournaments for kids, starting a radio station, training priests in leadership formation, organizing a parish community from maintenance to mission, and much more.  I love spiritual direction and preaching.  Years of philosophy, psychology and theological training have enriched my personal life and have shaped my message of hope.