We find ourselves in the liturgical season of Lent, the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday, when we ponder the call of John the Baptist to a metanoia, a change of heart, a time when we ask ourself how we can be a more faithful follower of Jesus, how we can live out our faith more fully, when our Christian values are challenged in so many ways.
The word Lent comes from the Old English word for the spring season, referring specifically to the lengthening of days we experience as winter begins to make way for spring.
It’s a time of no longer winter but not yet spring, a time in between the barrenness of winter and the flushness of spring, when nature seems to be making up its mind what it wants to do.
During this fallow season the Church calls us to a change of heart and to live more lovingly, more faithfully, more in accord with the priorities of Jesus. Then, as surely as the lengthening of days brings warmth and growth, our life will be warmed with the love of Christ and his people, and our light will be a source of blessing and life for many.
“If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted, then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday…Then the Lord will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.” (Isaiah 58:10-11)