A Light In The Lenten Season
We are reminded in the Season of Lent of how much God loves us! It is a time to reflect on sacrifice and reparation, but most important we must show appreciation for the greatest gift of God’s love in the Paschal Mystery of Christ! The passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus are central concepts of our Catholic faith and the history of our salvation.
“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19) This powerful statement was written toward the end of the first century in chapter four of the First Letter of John the Apostle. He was disputing false beliefs about Jesus, and trying to deepen the spiritual and social awareness of the Christian Community. People were refusing to accept Jesus as the Christ, and denied that he was a true man. To combat this heresy, John began preaching the fullness of Christian life in fellowship with the love of God the Father. His teaching was based on true belief, charitable living, and the knowledge that God and love are inseparable. The act of one inevitably affects the other.
John’s biblical writings are a declaration of the humanity and divinity of Christ. In this discourse he recognizes that Christian doctrine presents indefinable mysteries of faith about Jesus. He is telling the faithful that Christian life brings to light the deeper realities of the gospel message. This apostolic teaching provides a fundamental connection between Christian moral conduct and Christian doctrine. These are the realities and the mysteries.
God speaks to us with love! We love Him because He first loved us. These simple words can lift the burdens off the human heart, and turn daily chores into joy. Life is not always easy, but God desires good for us. He demonstrated His love with the Cross of Christ. His love is a powerful motivator! Our obedience to His teachings is not meant to be a miserable, uncomfortable duty. Religion of fear does nothing; the religion of love does everything! Unfortunately, some people do not understand that our real necessity in life is to be in relationship with God. There is no substitute for the victorious love of God!
We can return this gift of compassion by propagating the faith as good people of God. In the days of the early Church, when the teachings of the growing faith were seen as sinful or irrational, it was the moral goodness of the followers of Jesus that helped many to belief. This excessive form of moral decency convinced many people that something extraordinary was happening among the followers of Jesus. People wanted to look deeper into this rare and amazing life! We have the same opportunity today!
The Lenten and Easter seasons are perfect times to commit to a renewal of faith. Do people see the connection between how you live your life and the way you practice your faith? Is your love for God so obvious that others want to look deeper into their own faith?
We live in a sinful world that needs people to be a light for Christ so that others will know how to seek Truth! We all know someone who could benefit from understanding the power of God’s love! There is no better way to spread the gospel than to let people see Jesus in you! If you can deepen the spiritual and social awareness of the Christian community during these six weeks of Lent, then you will be a light for Christ on Easter morning! Amen!