By Fr Joseph Reddy SVD
Lent as a traditional season has always had a positive impact on me, giving blessings in disguise through reconciliation, prayer and fasting. I encountered Lent this year with the same natural and rich instinct brushing aside all the temptations. At times I found it harder than I had thought it would be in a new missionary arena. Many of us try to be somewhat disciplined for Lent and give up something that we really like and what we think needs eliminating. That’s great! Fasting has always been an important tradition of Lent. This year however, I thought we could also consider other things that we could give up, keeping in mind all the Biblical texts that guide and confront us. Perhaps what we ought to be doing in this Lent should be:
Learning to Focus on Trusting in God and to Giving up Worry
– Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Josh 1:9
– Cast your burdens on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous to be moved. Ps 55:22
Learning to Focus on Gratitude and Give up Complaining
– Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you in.
1 Thess 5:18
– Do everything without murmuring or arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent. Phil 2:14-15
Learning to Focus on Turning towards Forgiveness and Giving up Bitterness
– Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Eph 4:32
– Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice. Eph 4:31
Learning to Focus on Doing Good over Evil and Giving up hatred
– Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with blessing.
– Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness.
Learning to Focus on to Being Hopeful and Giving up discouragement
– But those who Hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isa 40:31
– It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deut 31:8
LET OUR PRAYER DURING THIS LENT BE ...
May this season of Grace be a roadway to fulfilment in the Risen Lord, as we learn to do the things which the Bible reveals to us! May this learning be enriching and eventful in our life! May our efforts bring us 100 fold blessings in our lives and to our families! May the Risen Lord teach us to abandon whole heartedly our burdens to Him, who bore our sins on the cross! When we are overwhelmed and too weary, too tired and weary to continue, Father God, let us find Joy in the Risen Lord.
BLESSED HOLY WEEK & HAPPY EASTER!!!