Some quickly said, “I’m in!” Others needed time to ponder the consequences. And there was one who said, “I won’t do that, but I will do something.”
My family’s pre-Lenten agreements about eliminating, minimizing, or committing to a daily practice for six weeks was a profitable dialogue. We are different people with affections and desires that run the spectrum.
In our abstinence and sacrifice during this season of Lent we open voids in our living. Spaces occupied not only by want, but invitation to something new. It could be a fresh gift of grace that leads to deeper repentance. Or courage to re-engage a strained relationship. Maybe it’s just a fuller sense of joy and contentment. The literal and figurative fasting of Lent is a gateway to spiritual transformation.
As we anticipate the celebration of the Resurrection in a few weeks, let’s continue to contemplate the path of Mary’s child — from swaddled baby to bludgeoned outcast. The God-Man rescuer of humanity from itself. A friend to sinners and hope for the world. A Savior worthy of more than we can give (or give-up).
In our temporary Lenten sacrifices may our spirits connect with our Lord’s sacrifice of Himself for our eternal good. A Redeemer who didn’t cling to comfort or power but came lowly to serve. And when tempted to renege on our 40-day commitments, may these words come to mind:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”