Lent is in it's final stretches. Just two weeks and we will be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord. We will be singing our Easter songs and raising our hallelujahs.
But first, we must walk these final steps. The end is nearing, and the light is in sight; but we have not yet reached Golgotha.
Around this time during Lent has always been my time to stop and reflect, and question just how "well" I've done in my attempts to sacrifice, unite myself with Christ and ultimately grow closer to Him.
Some years I sigh, realizing how much of Lent I've allowed to pass me by and then vow to finish out the last leg actually doing something..anything.. to actively seek Him.
This year, as I sat in the pew listening to the homily on the pillars of lent (prayer, fasting, alms-giving) I was smiling to myself, patting myself on the back and feeling rather smug for just how good I've been doing. I was running through my list of things and checking off all my good works. Thinking to myself "I even took the time to go to confession and man, I have been reading my Bible and praying more and yeah! Go ME! "
...and then the smack of how self-righteous and proud all that thinking was hit me right in the heart. I realized that this would be a year of sighing. And prayed an act of contrition right then.
While I cannot deny that I have done "better" and truly have been seeking Christ more this Lent, my heart was revealed to me in the middle of this sermon and I have a lot of growing yet to do. It's truly not about how good I do; it's about aligning my heart, my desires, my sacrifice and suffering and my joys and victories with that of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It's about sacrificing out of love for my neighbor and giving up myself just as Christ has given Himself up for me. Rather than saying "go me" I ought to be saying "thanks be to God" that this growth is taking place. That as I Seek Him he draws near and because of His sacrifice I am constantly being made new. God, in his mercy has shown me my lacking and offers to fill the gap, if I but give him room.
I don't know where you are on this walk, but I pray that through these last two weeks before Easter you may find renewed strength in knowing that God is always reaching out and calling us near and softening our hearts. He is merciful
As we wait and remember,as we walk alongside Christ through these days of our Lenten journey, let us remember why we sacrifice and to whom all the Glory and Honor goes.