Friday, February 21, 2020

Happy Lent!

Dear Parishioners,
While we are still in Ordinary time this Sunday, we will soon be in Lent. It is good to begin to think about what this means. Yes, we have Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday to help us. I would like to offer that this not be a somber season but a celebration. Certainly Lent is a time of fasting and sacrifice. It is a time of becoming aware of the long walk that Christ made carrying the weight of his cross, heading toward crucifixion. My call to celebration rests on the fact that Lent opens to the glory of Easter and Easter is the sign that we will be taken care of by God. Our fears of death and pain should resolve to the possibility of heaven and living (yes, living) forever in His friendship and presence. We should celebrate that we aren’t done when our bodies give out. This life of trial and difficulty with the struggles of money and work and relationships are not the end. Our time is not defined by the ups and downs of the economy, the winds of politics, or the vagaries of social expectations and criticism by others. We live in the hope of what we glimpse during Lent and Easter. 

The tragedies of the abuse we hear of, the unjust deaths we become aware of, the persecution and immoral actions we read about, all are mediated by the saving action of Christ on the cross. The raw imbalance of life with its haves vs. have nots, the privileged vs. the suffering, the hungry vs. those who are full and satisfied, is addressed by God in the saving actions of Lent and Easter. Let us open our eyes to what is offered to us in this most powerful season of the Church. Let us thank God for our salvation that lifts us from the sad morass that this life becomes for some. To be with God is our purpose, and Lent and Easter give us a taste of that possibility. The harder life is, the more sweet will be heaven.
Happy Lent and glorious Easter, 
Deacon Steve