I know that Lent begins on Wednesday. I am preparing to enter into Lent grateful for the gift of the Resurrection, for without this great gift, we would not have Lent, or even a Christmas for that matter. We celebrate and enter into these very important days because he is RISEN. That is why he came. That is why he took on our human nature and suffered. That's why he allowed himself to die on the cross. He redeemed us by going through the cross and death to Resurrection and glory. No one made God decide to do this. God simply loved each of us, just as we are. He put terms on his dying and rising. He did not say "Okay, if you live perfectly and love me consistently in your life, I will redeem you." No, he redeemed each of us --- all of us.
So Lent for me is something I simply want to live out of love too. I go beyond the "have to" things of Lent, such as fasting and abstinence, to the why I choose to do these things. I see them as symbols of repentance for the times I have not consistently loved God, even though I know how much God loves me. I see them as invitations to go deeper into this Lenten Season, to live more fully this year, the invitation God extended to me in Jesus more than 2,000 years ago. I find this invitation expressed in various ways in the Christian Scriptures: "Go, sell what you have, give to the poor and come, follow me," "Love one another as I have loved you," and " Do good to those who hate you . . ." I see Christ speaking to me through the Church today too, as I am called to live the Gospel without getting caught up the politics of our age. I wish everyone who reads this, a beautiful Lenten Season. Let us pray for each other.