Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Into The Desert Again

And so it begins.

Our preparation for the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, celebrated this year on April 1 (no fooling).

The liturgical season of Lent starts with Ash Wednesday, which is today. The next forty days the People of God, as a whole and as individuals, are called to repentance and conversion, to seek the face of the Lord and abide in His shadow. While this should happen every day, the next 6+ weeks brings it more into focus.

Like lost sheep, we have strayed. Like the Prodigal Son, we have lost our way. But like the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the paralytic man--like anyone who has sinned, if and when we return to the loving and merciful presence of God, we are on the way to fulfilling the redemption won by Christ on the Cross. As St. Augustine said, while He has created us without our co-operation, we will not be saved without it either.

The clarion call of more prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will be heard again in today's Gospel reading. How well we heed it, how well we implement those things even more into our lives, in short, how we become more loving of God and neighbor is set before us as a challenge to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is. The universal vocation to humanity is holiness. We who were created in His image and likeness must, with the help of His grace, remove the tarnish so that His light shines brighter in a world that seemingly doesn't recognize the darkness in which it lives.

It is time to rend our hearts. It is time to amend our lives. It is time to be purified.

It is a lifetime journey.

It can start with the steps adorned in purple.

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