What is Lent?
This year we can go beyond looking at Lent as simply a time for ashes, penances, sacrifices or extra spiritual activity. Our Lord challenges us to take on pious acts, not to impress others or even ourselves but to sincerely and actively get on the path of conversion.
The deeper response to the meaning of Lent is found succinctly in Sunday’s Gospel, “repent and believe in the Gospel.” Before we repent, we have to take a serious and perhaps courageous look into our lives to search for deep-rooted sinful attitudes, thoughts and actions and replace these with virtues. However, we will not be able to come to terms with our sinfulness if we cannot see the true and authentic life proposed to us by the Gospel.
When we know the Gospel, we will know Chris;t and in knowing Him, He will lead us not to a new version of ourselves, but to an authentic version of ourselves, the version and purpose for which we have been created.
Lent is a time that challenges our expectations of faith and of life. Shallow expectations will reap shallow rewards; deep expectations will reap unimaginable rewards, because He will become our reward.