The beautiful season of Lent is upon us. This holy season of conversion, charity, self denial, reconciliation, and self improvement, with the divine assistance of grace, is God’s gift to us. During Lent, we are called to heal the wounds in our relationship with God, with neighbor, and with self. These 40 days provide an opportunity to restore ourselves to the perfect state of grace received at Baptism. It’s a task for which each is individually responsible; fortunately, we are supported by the love of others who share similar challenges, and by the unconditional love of God, who came to our world to “bind up the broken hearted.”
Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday with Joel’s summons to repent and fast. Many people who are seeking God come to Church today. They may not worship regularly with us on Sundays, but a deep need draws them to the community on Ash Wednesday. How do we greet our wandering sisters and brothers? How can we reach out to them in a way that offers a community of faith and yet respects their journey? Do we hear their cry in the midst of Lent?
The First Sunday of Lent is always the narrative of Jesus being tempted in the desert. Each Lent we turn again to the Church’s ancient practices of prayer, fasting and giving alms. The change of nature’s seasons during Lent calls us to a change of heart, an wakening in our lives to new life.