Preparing for Lent
When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, think like a child, and reason like a child.
However, when I became a man, I put all childish ways aside. 1 Cor 13:11
Ash Wednesday is just over two weeks away, March 6th. I mention the above scripture passage because I think we often treat Lent as a child. Growing up we gave up candy or pop for lent. As we grew, it may have changed some to maybe chocolate and coffee. We give up things without much thought to what we are doing or why we are doing it.
Maybe a plan will help us make this Lent a holy season. If you study the readings, Lent consists of two distinct parts. The first part runs from Ash Wednesday to the Third Sunday of Lent. It focuses on our fall into sin and our need for conversion and salvation. In our sinfulness, we live only for ourselves, we miss out on the fullness of God’s grace and the fullness of what our lives could and should be. We need God!
The second part of Lent focuses our attention on the person of Jesus Christ. He is our means of salvation. It is through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice that our sins are forgiven. We are given the grace of redemption and salvation. Our acceptance of God’s grace allows us to become fully alive, to be the best we can be, to be the person that we were meant to be. Thus, in Lent we come to know that we need God, and that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gives his life so that we are saved and redeemed and become fully alive. Jesus makes things right.
How can we plan for Lent as an adult Christian and Catholic? Giving up things for Lent may help us to realize our need for Christ in our lives. We sacrifice, and in this sacrifice, we come to know we cannot do it alone. As an adult, we need to take the next step. How do we follow Jesus Christ and make our lives right? How do we go and sin no more? How do we participate in our own salvation? By loving as Jesus loves. Plan for it and do it!