Here we are in the 3rd Week of Lent! Wow! How’s your Lent going?!
I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe that we are at the mid-point of Lent! It seem like we just celebrated Ash Wednesday!
We are all familiar with these words of Jesus as found in today’s Gospel.
‘Whoever is not with me is against me,
And whoever does not gather with me scatters.’
For me the season of Lent calls me to press the pause button and take some time to reflect on the ways I have scattered away from Jesus. I want to be that person who gathers with Jesus!
The season of Lent calls us to reflect on our scattered ways. In our parish we are invited to take part in Vespers/Stations of the Cross, Adoration and also spend personal time at the foot of the Cross. Our Lenten theme, TRUST THE PROMISE calls us to reflect on the following questions:
- When do you find it difficult to trust God?
- What are you holding onto that is preventing you from fully trusting God?
When I initially looked at these questions I thought, ‘Well, of course I trust God? God is all powerful, all loving, why wouldn’t I trust God? Then I looked at question #2, hmmm! Even though I say I want to be that person who stays connected to God and never strays, the reality is I am a sinful person in need of God’s loving forgiveness just like everyone else!
My Lenten prayer, ‘create in me a clean heart, O God’ is one that challenges me to see, hear and love with the eyes, ears and heart of Jesus. A few days ago I was blessed to have a ‘Jesus’ encounter, an answer in a sense to my Lenten prayer.
I met ‘Danny’, homeless for the past three years, celebrating 100 days of drug-free existence, slept outside under a tree the day before, was beaten and hospitalized a few weeks before that. We shared a bowl of soup and I listened as he professed his belief in a loving and merciful God who walks the walk with him in recovery. It was a humbling experience that has stayed with me! Danny has had a hard way to go, but, in spite of that, he is able to trust God.
I probably will never see Danny again, but my Lenten journey has been blessed by our short encounter. The things I am holding onto that cause me to scatter and make my heart less loving are slowly and somewhat painfully disappearing as my prayer, ‘create in me a clean heart, O God,’ leads me to TRUST THE PROMISE!
Jesus suffered and died for us so that we might enjoy the promise of eternal life. How great is God’s love for us! May our Lenten journey be a time of renewal and change that reflects this promise and love. HAPPY LENT!
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.