Lent – that time to take stock of our hectic, busy, over-scheduled lives and CONNECT w/ self, w/others, W/GOD… return to God…
Joel: God says, “Return to me with you WHOLE HEART, w/fasting, weeping and mourning…Rend your HEARTS, not your garments, and return to the Lord. For GRACIOUS, MERCIFUL, SLOW 2ANGER, RICH IN KINDNESS, RELENTING IN PUNISHMENT is our God.
Pope Francis, in his book, The Name of God IS Mercy, says:
“God never tires of forgiving; it is we who tire of asking him for forgiveness.”
Why does God never tire of forgiving us? Because he is God, because he IS mercy, and because MERCY is the first attribute of God. The name of God IS mercy.
So, knowing, hoping, believing this, how do we enter into the Lenten journey?
- a smudge of ashes (reminding us of repenting/changing/believing the good news
- giving something up (ice cream, chocolate, vino….more importantly, how bout giving up being judgmental, or being a jerk? …or being cheap or stingy with love, patience, kindness, understanding?… how about giving up holding on to the past hurts that keep others in the life-long “penalty box?” …or fasting from all that numbs and anesthetizes us (ear buds, constant busyness, talking about others….) in order to hear God more clearly/see needs of others…
How about practicing GENEROSITY this lent? With time, with understanding, with forgiveness; with money (from things we’ve given up and therefore haven’t spent $$$ on), with food or clothing that we don’t wear or need…whom others desperately need; with gifts that we’ve been given (by others or by God) that we can share….those kinds of things
This Lent, will we make time to try to deepen the CONVERSATION and the LISTENING to God, Jesus and the Spirit as they work in and through us? Will we go to the “inner rooms” of our hearts to commune with the one who wants to commune with us?
LENT: not just a time to go through the Lenten external motions unless……they propel us and help us to be more merciful, more compassionate w/ourselves and others….JUST AS GOD is with you and me.
“…(for) now is a very acceptable time;…now is the day of salvation.” Paul to the Corinthians 6:2
Let’s get started.