Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lent: It is Not Just About Me

In this Lenten season my mind keeps returning to Advent and how fitting it is that Lent comes so quickly after Advent. John 3:16 would not have the effect it does were it not for the season of Advent.

Think of the animal or insect that you dislike the most, and then think of the person you hold in the highest esteem. What would you think if that esteemed person willing and of his own ability became the animal or insect you dislike the most. You would probably look at that animal or insect more close and in a different light. This is how I look at Christ. Oh, how God must love humanity and how great His desire must be that we not perish. The Incarnation—how marvelous it is!

The short period of time after Advent gave me some time to contemplate on the greatness of God’s love for humanity--the little that I am able to do because of sin. It gives me fuller enlightenment to the phrase in Eucharistic Prayer IV, “yet you, who alone are good, the source of life, have made all that is, so that you might fill your creatures with blessings…” When the human race fell through original sin, He did not cast us away, was not willing that we should perish, so much so that His Only Begotten Son became Incarnate that He might redeem us. Jesus did not become Incarnate, suffer, die, and rise again in order that I might be saved in my sins, in order that I might continue sinning; but in order that we might be freed from sin and live holy lives, holy lives pleasing to a Holy Father. By the grace of God, may this Lenten season give me more meaning to denying myself and taking on more things which are pleasing to our Triune God.

When I was a Baptist, I heard almost every Sunday that we needed to “accept Jesus as our personal Savior.” That is not necessarily incorrect, although it keeps the focus on self. As a Catholic, I find myself focusing more on the Body. It is not only about me. Perhaps, my prayers may be about matters which others neglect to see; and, perhaps, they are praying for matters which I neglect to see.
May this Lenten season, by the grace of God Almighty, lead us to a more meaningful Easter season. T.T.

This theological reflection courtesy of the parishioners of St Paul Catholic Church in Pensacola, Florida: