Perhaps it is a sign of the times that we live in, a time filled with all sorts of demands on personal time and activities, or perhaps it is just the human condition; but for whatever reason, we often seem unprepared when Ash Wednesday is suddenly upon us!
Why would we want to spend 40 more days living Lent when we have been doing so for the past two years? Our society has had to continually grapple with death that is premature and having to isolate from others, especially our loved ones.
For the past couple of years much of our world entered some sort of lockdown or quarantine (and in some places, never really left that state), a time of most hardcore sacrifice. We sacrificed much more than even our Lenten practices asked of us. Instead of coming out of the tomb with Christ at Easter, we continued in the most un-ordinary of Ordinary Time.
We are seeing the brokenness of the world firsthand. This world and our humanity are not as God created them to be. We may still be in a period of darkness and suffering, yet we know of the rebirth into new life coming this Easter. We hope that we will come out of the tomb with Christ.
Let’s make this the year we decide to observe Lent and not let it pass us by in a blur! Lent is a very personal journey along a path of spiritual growth. As we were marked with ashes on Ash Wednesday, we were showing our desire to take on a life of penance for the sake of the Gospel and an imitation of Christ’s time of prayer in the desert. Lent should be a time of conversion, a chance to examine our lives through prayer, fasting, and charitable acts, conforming ourselves to the life of Christ. Let us behold our God, who has died for our love; see his arms extended to embrace us, his head bowed down to give us the kiss of peace, his side opened to give us access to his heart!
If only we could love him as much as he loves us.