I will establish my covenant with you.” (Genesis 9:11)
The great flood told in Genesis is a story that assures us that destruction is never the final word of God. Whatever death we experience, whatever death He brings into our lives, is always followed by the promise of new life.
This is a really good thing to keep in mind as we go through Lent. It is really helpful to recall that the culmination of these forty days is not Good Friday but actually Easter Sunday. Sure, God asks us to die to ourselves and resist temptation, just as Christ did in the desert for 40 days. But He is only asking this of us so that we can clear out more space in our hearts for Him and for His Grace. The discipline and the self-sacrificing that we take upon our lives during Lent are not the ends in themselves. They are not here so that we can prove our strength or increase our personal skills. Instead, we should take them on so that we can become more fully alive in Jesus Christ, more able to be able to reveal His love to the people around us.
Being the first Sunday of Lent, are you still trying to figure out what to give up for Lent, or what to do more of? Try answering that question by looking at this season as a journey of love. Figure out what is hindering you from loving more fully. Could it be gossip, overwork, dwelling on resentments or even self-isolation? Try to find a way to give these things up, or at least reduce their influence on your life. Try to find things that are more life giving. Take a walk with a friend, or with your dog. Stop and visit the Blessed Sacrament between errands. Make it a point to find something that is uplifting and upbuilding to say in all your conversations more, pray more, read Scripture more. Whatever it is you decide to do, make sure to ask the Holy Spirit to work creatively with you.
Remember, all this Lent, keep your eye on the prize and that is new life in Jesus Christ. It’s a life that starts right now, every time you receive or give love. It’s a life that springs up from every kind of death to self that you embrace. It’s a life that will lead you to the final prize at the end of the journey, eternal life with Jesus.
“Here I am, Lord. I’m ready to journey with you toward Easter.”
1 Peter 3:18-22
Lord as we continue our Lenten journey don’t let us forget that it is more than just the 40 days that are important.
Help us to realize that it is the covenant that Christ created at His death and with His Resurrection.
Let us remember that the veil was torn so that we would no longer be a people separated from You.
Help us to see that the journey is more than getting to the end and more about what Easter brings us through the Resurrection….eternal life.