Lent started on Wednesday, February 6.
For Christians who don’t observe or understand the liturgical seasons of the year Lent may seem strange or unnecessary. If you are a “Catholic-phobe” as one person I know recently described himself you may dismiss all things Catholic and even think this season is all about human effort or meaningless ritual.
How sad that some Christians write off the centuries old tradition of spending the 40 days before Easter focused more intensely on prayer, fasting and sacrificial giving. How sad that anyone would do this out of ignorance or a fear of traditions primarily practiced by Catholics.
Why is this sad to me?
It’s sad because the more I’ve embraced this season the greater is my desire to die to self year round. The more I embrace this season of sacrifice before celebrationg His resurrection, the more I appreciate the passion and intense suffering of our Lord (and I have far to go in this area of my life). And most importantly, the more I embrace this season of fasting and sacrifice the more I hunger for Jesus.
Jesus, the Word made flesh, tells us,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” (Matt. 5:6)
To which I cry,
“Jesus, let me abandon all selfish desire, ambition and worldly attachments during this Lenten season so that I may be filled by you– for I hunger and thirst for you and you alone.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst…”