It’s the Lenten Season, and so I’ve been reflecting. Not all of my reflection has been profound, or even profitable (yet), but I make the effort anyhow. Because that is the invitation of Lent — to reflect, to put aside distractions and perhaps pick up practices (like fasting, and contemplative prayer) that help us to look deeply beyond the surface of things.
We are invited to reflect deeply on the paschal mystery, immersing ourselves in the story of Christ’s suffering, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and exaltation, listening for what the Holy Spirit might have to say to us about our own lives, and about the life of the world around us.
We are invited to consider what (or perhaps how) we are willing to suffer in order to be Christ’s people in the world.
We are invited to come face to face with the false selves that must still be crucified, the old resentments, old attitudes, and old ways of being that need a decent (and permanent) burial.
We are invited to consider and enact what it means to live resurrected lives now, even as we anticipate the resurrection to come.
Perhaps, then, it is no coincidence that one of the other customs of springtime is the custom of “spring cleaning.” The constraints of early darkness fades and the need to keep things closed up tight has passed. So, we fling open the doors and windows of our homes, letting the brighter light creep into every corner so that we may see and wash away the dust and detritus that has accumulated.
We repair what we now see is broken and replace the old things that are no longer useful with what is fresh and new. And this, also, is the invitation of Lent: to fling open the doors and windows of our souls so that the Spirit might continue to wash us, repair us, and make us new so that we might join God in the work of creating rivers of justice to water the deserts of oppression.
May God grant you joy for your journey,