Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I hope you’ve given some consideration about what you will do this Lent. In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus speaks to how we should conduct ourselves during Lent. He focuses on the three pillars of Lent: almsgiving, prayer and fasting.
A lot of people think of Lent as a time to give up something we like. Coffee, junk food, chocolate, candy, alcohol…you know, all the things that make life fun. :-) This can be part of our fasting. We give something up and when we feel that craving for the thing, we turn our hearts to prayer, asking God for the strength to hold fast and be strong.
I want to suggest another form of “penance” for Lent. Think of it as a Lenten "Give and Take." Don’t just give something up, take something on as well. Perhaps you could go to daily Mass once a week, or even every day. Pray the Rosary daily. Volunteer to help at church or in the community once a week. This gives us an opportunity to give the sacrifice of time. Try it. I think you’ll be amazed at what God will do in your heart, and in the lives of others.
Father, may this Lenten journey bear great fruit in our lives. We ask you to help us grow in holiness, through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
If you decide to take on some spiritual reading for Lent, order a copy of Magnetic Christianity to help you become the best evangelizer you can be. Go to www.GusLloyd.com.