Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On the First Week of Lent 2013

How are you on your Lenten journey, dear friend? Have you met God more deeply, more personally in your Lenten readings, reflections, and ways of giving up things of this world? 

I love how Ash Wednesday sets the tone of a Lenten journey that speaks of no nonsensical demeanor. God speaks loudly. We listen with much attention. We are called to enter a more disciplined way of approaching life, and of living life. Remembering the words from that day, words such as "Repent, and believe in the gospel!" connote not of distant nor soft messages for the heart. Messages such as "Do not be gloomy" require punctuality and a continued listening ear. Have you given the Master your utmost attention? Our sweet God means business. How can the Father not be more determined to speak more laudably than ever before when his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, is the core of his messages? Repentance, for instance, is reflective of God's ever-encompassing compassion for all of us -- of the compassion of Christ borne out of his suffering. To “believe in the gospel” is a call to follow God in the humanness of Christ. The words “Do not be gloomy” is a call to be a mirror of the hope Christ reserves for us on account of his willingness to suffer and die for us. 

What have you given up? What are some things you have set aside that will lead you to seek more that are of the heavens? To “give up things of this world” is to give in to the many riches God gives us. God’s riches are ineffable in the sense that besides their being impermissible to the eye, they are lasting and are full of his grace that fills the soul. Who would not want honey made of divine ingredients? How do we attain those riches, you might ask. Neither in far unknown places nor unrecognizable brothers and sisters! God is in the face of a parent or child at home, in the stranger with no food or shelter, in those who are cold and needing medicine, or one needing a shoulder to cry on. Our goal must be to find them, to recognize the face of Christ in them, and to move fast in responding to their needs!

May we be so predisposed to journeying with Christ with an "ungloomy" face, even if we are suffering just a little, on this 40 Days of Lent.

Copyright © 2013 Easter Almuena

For daily Scripture Reading, go to the USCCB site.

For books on reflections, you may order them at the Pauline bookstore on-line.