As Catholics, we are preparing ourselves to walk with Christ for 40 days. Lent is a time of preparation and self-denial. A time to acknowledge God’s love and grace within our everyday life. Ash Wednesday is the start of our journey with Christ; where we turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. As we prepare to go into the biggest love story of all time, His passion and resurrection, let us contemplate the true meaning for the journey. During this time, let’s find ourselves through these 3 things: re-connecting, self-denial, and love & grace.
When we haven’t seen or talked to someone in a while the first thing we do is re-connect “catch-up” with that person, correct? Well, it’s the same thing with our Christ! Lent is a time to re-connect “catch-up” with the Lord. Remember, He is a person, so therefore, we can have a conversation with Him just as we would with our close friends and/or family. There are many ways we can re-connect with Christ, for example: sacraments of Reconciliation, the Eucharist, prayer, reading the Holy Scriptures, and listening to Catholic music. These are some ways we can re-connect with Him. Being connected we have the opportunity to fortify in a deeper manner in these 40 days.
Let’s take a look at a professional athlete– in order for them to perform at their best level, they decide (free-will) to deny certain foods, beverages, activities, sleepless nights and so on to stay focused on their main goals. Their hard work pays off as they are recognized for their great efforts and accomplishments. Athletes not only win championships but become role models for others. That’s exactly what lent time is, self-denial to many privileges, pleasures, and comforts that the world offers us. This way we can stay focused on our main goal which is giving ourselves to Him. Our hard work is recognized in the immense love that Christ has for us. We know that we cannot do it alone, but with His Spirit we are capable of training our bodies to seek what it really needs, and this need isn’t fulfilled by anything visible to our earthly eyes.
Love & Grace
Walking with Christ for 40 days is only done through love and grace. His love for us took Him to extremities such as: being tempted by Satan in the desert, live through his passion, death and resurrection. We receive the power of resurrection to know He lives and we live in Him. Our re-connection and self-denial can only come from the act of love. During lent we demonstrate an act of love in a profound manner, but in reality His love is our sacrifice times a million per second in our daily lives. With the resurrection and the effusion of his Holy Spirit on the church and among all of the baptized we can obtain his grace. His grace will always give us that extra push when we are falling back; to be a glimpse of fresh air in the midst of a drowning, lonely, and confused society.
“Look at His adorable face.
Look at His glazed and sunken eyes.
Look at His wounds.
Look Jesus in the Face.
There, you will see how He loves us.”
~ St. Therese of Lisieux
Claudia Navichoque – Writer, unparalleled love