Believe in the Gospel
When I was a kid during summer vacation, my mom and dad would take us to see our aunt, uncle, and cousins in Phoenix. This was in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s when my dad would drive us through the desert in the middle of the night when it wasn’t 115 degrees and our car radiator wouldn’t overheat. One day we all got in my uncle’s old car and drove up to the mountains for a picnic. A storm came up very quickly and I mean a STORM! The sky grew really dark and the storm brought thunder and lightning and fierce wind. I remember seeing a car near us that was towing a boat and the boat overturned because of the wind.
Jesus’ time in the desert was a very stormy time. Temptations came and went without notice. What did Jesus find through this time of being by himself to face horrendous things and temptations, the same kind you and I face? Jesus found the Father, who loved his Son beyond belief.
Lent is our moment to come to understand the temptations, the storms and the stresses of our lives and place them in perspective. It’s our time to find the peace of God in the upheavals of our daily lives. It’s our time to let the Holy Spirit enable us to make sense of the pain and stress we encounter. It’s our time to remember life is fragile, we only have so much time to Repent and believe in the Gospel, to turn our lives away from sin and live our faith.
However, one thing I have always found frustrating about Lent is I run out of ideas of what to do. My ideas of what I’m going to give up or do differently kind of run out of gas; after a couple of weeks of not being able to do what I wanted to do, I tend to give up. They become like New Year’s resolutions that never get achieved. So this might help: I’ve come across two websites that I want to share with you:
First, Matthew Kelly’s website: Dynamic Catholic firstname.lastname@example.org. This will lead you to “Best Lent Ever” details and everyday suggestions. The second website is http://bustedhalo.com/, which will lead you to a video called “Lent in 3 Minutes” as well as “25 Great Things You Can Do For Lent.” These resources and many others are designed to help you make it through the dry spots, the deserts of Lent.
Remember, when you come to Sunday Mass, offer up all the tough and painful and stressful things of life that you and I experience. Give them to Jesus and during the Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass, offer them up along with all the good things about yourself. Imagine what love the Father has for you and understand this is what Jesus found in the desert. For all the darkness and dryness of Lent, Jesus found and offers us hope, unconditional love and mercy. That’s how we’re able to “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”