Christ is risen, Hallelujah!
The forty days are over and we can finally rejoice! The Lord is so good, and in his goodness he desires to draw us nearer to him throughout the season of Lent. While we may have felt inconvenienced and slighted by the “sacrifices” that we decided to take on, we need to realize that God is calling on us to recognize that the things of this world are nothing compared to him, his awesome love, and the kingdom that he has waiting for us.
Growing up Catholic, I always viewed Lent as that annoying month before Easter. It was that month not far from Christmas, where my freedom was restricted because I gave up things that were surface level at best. It’s part of the yearly tradition that Catholics all over the world partake in – and probably for many Catholics, it’s nothing greater than just that, a tradition. It’s something that you’re supposed to do, and because you do it every year, you continue to do it. It’s become something that’s more of an annoying habit than anything else. How often do we sit and plan our Lent so that we can do what God really desires of us, which is to grow closer to him in companionship and love?
Now, I challenge myself to look back upon my Lent in this joyous season of Easter and reflect upon the fruits and graces that the Lord has tried to give me during that time. How can I unite my experiences with the suffering of love itself?
- Did I suffer any kind of physical pain? Compare that to the nails of the cross.
- Did I suffer any kind of mental pain? Compare that to the agony in the garden.
- Did I suffer any kind of emotional pain? Compare that to the hurt caused by Judas’s betrayal or Peter’s denial.
- Was Lent too easy? Did I really try to make a sacrifice or effort?
- Was Lent too hard? Was I caught up too much in the challenge of Lent that I closed myself off to the love that Christ desires so much to give me?
The Lord desires a lot for us and is able to reveal so much when we peel away the material things that swamp us in this life. May each of us look back upon this past Lent and see the ways in which He made himself known, so that we can bask in that love and grow in his graces until the challenge of next Lent rolls around.