Some of you will be reading this article at different times in Lent. I guess it really doesn’t matter whether it’s the beginning or the end. What does matter is how our relationship with Jesus has changed during these 40 days.
I’ll bet some of you are saying, “Oh no, not again, another article about discerning what’s good for us during Lent! “ You are right – that’s exactly what this article is about. Think about this: if it wasn’t important why would there be so many articles and books written about this very subject? We can spend 40 days going through the motions of fasting and abstinence, increasing prayer, and giving money to the poor without really gaining anything from our sacrifices. However, if we used these actions to gain repentance from the Lord and each other, wouldn’t it be better than just giving things up and giving money away?
It’s not really that hard. What we can learn from the Gospel today is to use sacrifices, prayer, and almsgiving as a form of repentance. Then we can gain a relationship with the Lord that really teaches us what Lent is all about. When you sacrifice, offer it up for someone who sacrifices every day just because of where they live or the color of their skin. Pray for someone who desperately needs your prayer, maybe someone living in a land that is war-torn because of the selfishness of powerful individuals. When you give money to the poor, make sure you offer a prayer for them at the same time. These simple but profound things will make a difference for the people around you; and most of all, it will make a difference in you.
Peace and All Good!