Today's Lenten reflection comes from Chris Stephanick of Real Life Catholic. Chris offers a video retreat for this first Sunday called, "God Is Definitely Looking For You".
In this coming Sunday’s Gospel, the First Sunday of Lent, Mark 1:12-15, we hear that Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. His time of sacrifice, prayer, and reflection formed the launching pad for his public ministry.
As God, Jesus didn’t need to fast and pray; but as man, he did. Why? To give us an
Immediately after his time of preparation he came looking for us. He entered our cities
and towns “proclaiming the Gospel” and inviting us to himself.
But responding to his invitation requires change in our lives. It demands that we “repent.”
It demands that we enter our own spiritual desert with Jesus. And that means, sacrifice.
We give up little things every Lent as Catholics. But does the thing you sacrifice
for Lent really
make a difference in your life? Of course, every sacrifice offered to God makes a difference, but our sacrifices will go much further if we pick things that correct our areas
of weakness. Keep it simple.
- Do you struggle with laziness? Give up hitting snooze this Lent.
- Do you struggle with greed? Commit to doing something, hands on, that serves the poor.
- Do you struggle with drinking or eating too much? Give up dessert or your favorite beverage.
We don’t conquer our weaknesses by focusing on the vice we’re stuck in, but by strengthening
the opposing virtue. This level of sacrifice is much harder than giving up chocolate for Lent. That’s okay. No pain, no gain. We’re used to sacrificing for money, sports, you name it…so let’s not get wimpy with becoming the people we know God is calling us
And in the end, remember, whatever we sacrifice for Lent, it's not just about becoming
more virtuous. It's about shedding those things that keep us from responding to the God who came looking for us.
Lent. It's what Jesus does.
Let's do it with him.