Lent started last week and many folks in and out of the Christian world are saying “so what?” Why bother with an antique season of penitence and fasting? Why not charge fully into the power of the resurrected Jesus? Why labor ourselves with the dreary struggle?
“Why?” Because we must share a part of Jesus struggle into order to unite ourselves with the resurrection promise as well. To claim the power of a personal savior we must follow a portion of his path to Calvary. We too must identify with the challenge of temptation by giving up for a season some things that may distract us in our spiritual journey. Then we are able to say to the source of temptation that the power of God is stronger.
When the distractions are removed then there is more time to go deeper into what is separating us from the love of God in our lives. From the vantage point of a cleaner slate, we can look more closely at what remains. What can I remove or refine to allow God to speak more fully to my heart?
If we successfully complete our 40-day journey in the wilderness as Jesus did then we too can look beyond the pain of the cross. We can look toward the empty tomb and shout with all the angels “The Lord is Risen, The Lord is Risen Indeed!”
Peace, Fr. Gary