2nd Sunday of Lent
Jesus reveals himself in our Gospel as the fulfillment of the Old Testament, signified by his speaking with Moses and Elijah who represent the Scriptural writings of the Law and the Prophets. Jesus also fulfills what was begun in our first reading with the story of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his only son, Isaac. Jesus is the long awaited Lamb of God, who is sacrificed on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins when we had broken our covenant with God, Jesus who cuts a New and Eternal Covenant in his own Body and Blood to open up for us eternal life!
What is Lent about? Is it about giving something up? Well...not exactly. Is it about sacrifice? Well...not exactly. Lent is about Jesus Christ. Lent is about us intentionally following Jesus and growing closer to Jesus. If we forget that, then anything and everything we do during Lent - all the practices, all the sacrifices, all the resolutions - in the end, mean nothing. The deeper presence of Jesus Christ in our lives is the meaning of Lent. In our Gospel Jesus gives us three rich Biblical practices for that presence to become a reality in our lives: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Done with Jesus and for Jesus, these have incredible power. Done purely by our own strength of will or just because "that's the rule"...then we're just spinning our wheels.
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
When we think of Lent we often think of some sort of sacrifice that we make, something that we "give up" for Lent. But a great question to ask the Lord as you consider your Lenten resolution(s) is, "How will this help me grow closer to You, Jesus?" The whole point of a sacrifice in Lent is to be a sacrifice of love to the Lord, an intentional turning to God. When our Lenten resolutions simply become a test of our own will power, however, then we've missed the whole point. The whole point of this Lenten season is to draw closer to Jesus Christ. If we are not intentionally growing closer to the Lord, then our Lent will be in vain. So as you consider your resolution(s) for this Lent, I want you to ask the Lord, "How will this help me grow closer to You, Jesus?"