Each Lent we face the same challenge to be more serious about our spiritual journey. But we err if we think that this is the identical challenge to last year’s because we are not last year’s people. Over the past twelve months we have received new graces and we have struggled with new issues.
For these reasons, each Lent is new, an unwritten page where Love’s invitation will be spelled out afresh. How might I better live these precious days so that Easter Sunday will find me with an energized faith and a greater disciple’s love?
My suggestion is that we take some familiar texts about the core issues of following Jesus and see where we stand as we look at them. The heart of this journey will be through the eyes of Paul. I have chosen him because his story parallels ours in so many ways.
Like us, he never walked physically beside Jesus. Like us, he lived in a world where consumption and amassing goods and self-interest made the word “neighbor” seem a bit quaint. Like us, he earned his daily bread at the marketplace. All this he did as part of a community of similar strugglers. In short, Paul lived in a very real world, not on an idealized cloud.
Each day offers a text for consideration in prayer. Some we will welcome as old friends up for fresh eyes. Some we might find too challenging, and we will be forced to go deeper to incorporate them into our journey. In either case, the way forward is quite clear.
May we promise to pray for each other, for all those both known and unknown who will begin this blessed season with the hope of welcoming the Risen Jesus on Easter with a deeper sense of what discipleship can mean. Blessed traveling!