As we have just begun this Lenten season—a time of repentance and of turning back to the Lord—I share with you these words from Pope Benedict XVI:
On this day, marked by the austere symbol of ashes, we enter the season of Lent, beginning a spiritual journey that prepares us for celebrating worthily the Easter Mysteries. The blessed ashes imposed upon our forehead or a sign that reminds us of our condition as creatures, that invites us to repent, and to intensify our commitment to convert, to follow the Lord ever more closely. Lent is a journey, it means accompanying Jesus who goes up to Jerusalem, the place of the fulfillment of his mystery of Passion, Death and Resurrection; it reminds us that Christian life is a “way” to take, not so much consistent with a law to observe as with the very Person of Christ, to encounter, to welcome, to follow…
It is above all in the liturgy, by participating in the holy mysteries, that we are led to make this journey with the Lord; it means learning at the school of Jesus, reviewing the events that brought salvation to us but not as a mere commemoration, a remembrance of past events. In the liturgical actions Christ makes himself present to the power of the Holy Spirit and the saving events become real. There is a keyword that recurs frequently in the liturgy to indicate this: the word “today”; and it should be understood and it’s original and practical, rather than metaphorical sense. Today God reveals his law and we are granted to choose today between good and evil, between life and death (Dt 30:19). Today the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel (Mk 1:15). Today Christ died on Calvary and rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; today the Holy Spirit is given to us; today is a favorable time…
Dear friends, on this Lenten journey let us careful to accept Christ’s invitation to follow him more decisively and consistently, renewing the grace and commitments of our Baptism, to cast off the former person within us and put on Christ, in order to arrive at Easter renewed and able to say, with Saint Paul: It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20). I wish you all a good Lenten journey!
Have a great week! God bless!