Lent begins in three days. Are you ready?? When I was a child, this time of year always meant giving up something. Chocolate, my favorite tv show, you name it. As I grew older, my Lenten practice has shifted to more meaningful things.
There is such wisdom and grace in the seasons of our Church. A ready made opportunity to check in with God. A form and system to be more intentional in how we live out our faith and respond to God's love.
I used to be a bit critical of the focus on sin and repentance during these days. But really, whether we admit it or not, we're all guilty of the guilt game. But God is bigger than that. Just take a look at this Sunday's readings.
In today's first reading from Isaiah:
"Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"
In the Psalm: "Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you. But because of my integrity you sustain me and let me stand before you forever."
In the 2nd letter to the Corinthians: "For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him..."
And of course, the Gospel of Mark: "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth' -he said to the paralytic, 'I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.'"
The overwhelming message that I pick up? Love and forgiveness. That's what it's all about.
This Lent, I am going to be more intentional about spending time in God's loving presence. I know, I know, I'm a catholic Sister. I already do that. Well, yes and no. I too get busy with life. I too live with the temptations and distractions of technology. I am going to take this time as an opportunity to reconnect in a sustaining way with my good and gracious God.