I recently received a note from a dear friend who wrote:
May the fact that Lent begins on Valentine’s Day easily bring to mind those you love.
May God open your heart even more to what God has in store for you.
I read those two lines over and over again. I put them aside and have come back to them.
There is great wisdom in those two lines for our Lenten journey. Lent the Season of Love is more than what Valentine’s Day offers as a day for cupids, roses and good chocolates. The Lenten season calls us to the depth of love, the openness of love and the true gift of love out-poured.
These two lines brought me to the readings for Ash Wednesday – the launching point for the Season of Love…
Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:
In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
– 2 COR 5:20—6:2
If we are ambassadors for Christ than easily those we love should come to mind.
If we are ambassadors for Christ than also those we need to love should come to mind.
If we are ambassadors for Christ than our hearts are more opened to Christ; trusting that what he has in store for us is grace-filled, working for God’s glory and is right for this time and place.
As we journey into the season of Lent – the Season of Love and we consider prayer, fasting and almsgiving – we must consider these Lenten anchors with love, not with simply Lenten duty.
How will prayer lead me to love more deeply and to share my love not only within my circle of love but to expand that circle?
How will fasting lead me to be aware of those who are starved of love and left hungry for community, acceptance and hope?
How will almsgiving lead me to a generosity from my heart that is generated out of love not simply charity and a good feeling?
If I have learned anything in my journey it is that love is not easy – it is a constant choice, a constant awareness and must be a constant desire for God.
May this Season of Love open us up to God’s infinite love. May it touch our hearts and stir in us a greater desire to be ambassadors, for now is the acceptable time for love…it always is. Now is the acceptable time to open our hearts to the endurance that it takes for us to live in love. Not tomorrow, or next week, or only during Holy Week, but today and all through the season of Lent… so that the true pattern of love which is Christ may be the only season we know… on good days, bad days and every day.
Here is to amazing journey into the Season of Love.