Pastor’s Weekly Letter
Friday, March 1, 2024
In the early days of the Church, Lent was a period of intensive study and preparation for those seeking to become Christian. These individuals, mostly adults, dedicated years to understanding the teachings of our faith. They faced the threat of persecution and approached their baptism with great seriousness. The final 40 days leading up to Easter served as a time of purification and enlightenment, a period in which they reaffirmed their commitment to God.
In solidarity with these new converts, the rest of the Church began to observe Lent as an opportunity for all Christians to renew their own baptismal commitments. We recognize this season as a time of conversion, a chance to turn our hearts and minds back towards God. Through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we actively seek to eliminate distractions and refocus on our relationship with Him.
I know that giving up something for Lent can sometimes seem like a peculiar practice. Yet, it is in these sacrifices that we find spiritual growth and a deeper appreciation for the abundance in our lives. When we deprive ourselves of a small pleasure or indulge in a habit that separates us from God, we create space for His grace to transform us. Just as our childhood experiences of giving up Oreos or favorite TV shows taught us moments of want can help us cultivate gratitude, so too do our Lenten sacrifices allow us to recognize God’s blessings in our lives.
For this reason, I encourage you to take the time to reflect on what you might give up this Lent. Is there something you enjoy that you are willing to sacrifice for a while, such as your daily latte? Could it be a bad habit you are determined to conquer, like running late to meetings? Or perhaps you feel called to disconnect from your cell phone and fully embrace the presence of your loved ones? Whatever it may be, let your sacrifice help you turn towards God during this holy season of Lent.
Remember, the impact of a small positive change can extend far beyond the 40 days that make up Lent. By turning our hearts and minds back to God, we invite His grace to enter our lives, guiding us towards a deeper sense of purpose, joy, and fulfillment.
As we embark on this Lenten journey together, let us offer support and encouragement to one another. Let our sacrifices be a tangible expression of our love for God and our desire to center our lives on Him. May this season be filled with transformation, renewed faith, and a profound sense of God’s presence in our lives.
With Heartfelt Blessings,