It always seems like the season of Lent comes at the right time. While the main focus of Lent is to practice fasting, conversion, prayer and simple living, for me it always seems that the weeks prior to the season is the exact opposite. The soul and the senses are restless, we hunger for a temporary satisfaction, lacking in prayer, indulging, doing our own things. But Lent, is a time to change all of that, its a time to see all that we have done wrong even those small things and truly repent and feel completely sorry for what we have done. Lent is a time for conversion of heart, prayer and a time for us to share in the Resurrected Glory of God in the end by defeating sin and conquering death.
I’m always fascinated at how Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. This journey of Jesus marks the start of a 40 day fast, an embarking that allows the Spirit to move in own lives by how we live. It’s interesting, because during lent we can see that there is a definite call to repentance. A call to step outside of what we are used to and do something else and give up what we enjoy. It’s a call to live outside our comfort zones. The gospel reading today, is the story of Jonah and his pilgrimage to Nineveh to proclaim to the Ninevites that they should pray, repent and fast.
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed, when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth” -Jonah 3: 1-2
That was the call, and in some ways, it is a prefiguration of the Lenten call we see even today. It’s a call to pray, a call to fast and even more so, a call recognize what we have done wrong and wear the penitential sackcloth of our own sin and repent. For each of us, Lent should be a time of conversion, prayer, fasting and repentance, just as it was for the Ninevites. It’s a time for us to finally say goodbye to those things that we have grown so accustomed to, namely, Sin. This lent, don’t just stop doing what you know isn’t good for you, but recognize what hurts you, recognize your sin, [pray to the Blessed Mother to reveal to you your sins] and seek to be whole-heartily sorry for all those things that keep us from obtaining a perfect relationship with the Father.