Dear Friends and Parishioners,
As we prepare for Ash Wednesday and the First Sunday of Lent, we might think that this liturgical season is a hard time of the year. We are asked to look carefully at our lives and if need be, change our behavior for 40 days. Forty days is a very short time compared with our usual lifespan. Psalm 90 says: “Seventy is the sum of our years
, or eighty, if we are strong; Most of them are toil and sorrow; they pass quickly, and we are gone.”
I would disagree that most of them are “toil and sorrow” especially if we are believers in the eternal life that Christ offers us. Our Creed tells us to look ahead by saying, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen!” And the clearest instructions we have come at the end of Mass: “Go in peace.” The psalm says we can do this “if we are strong.”
During Lent, we are stronger together. The new prefect of the new Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrell said, “It will be up to us, all the faithful, priests and bishops included, to call out to each other. We should all accept “a renewed call by the Lord to walk together, each according to his or her own vocation… sharing the goals of the mission and assuming responsibility for the good of the Christian community.”
Linda Ghisoni, an undersecretary of the same dicastery and a canon lawyer, said “Learning to actually live and work as ‘one body’ takes practice.”
This Lent, don’t set your expectations so high for yourself and others that you set yourself up for failure. Practice the basics. We all know what to do, and we have plenty of time in which to do it.