As we step into the Lenten season by applying the ash, a symbol of self-emptiness, on the forehead which is the symbol of pride, this story may shed some light to evaluate our life for a while. Once a young man’s Ford car broke down on the way. He was an expert in cars, so he started to fix his own. He tried different ways and each time he went back to crank the engine, it remained lifeless. He was a little stubborn so, rather than call for a help, he continued to work alone. He tried everything and still nothing the car would not start. A few minutes later, another car pulled up beside him. Out stepped an old man who stood and watched him for a few minutes. The old man looked at him and said; “Son, do you see this part? Just twist this one and you are good to go’’. The man whispered in his mind, “There is no way this old guy could know more about this car than me”. Anyway, he tried it. He adjusted the part, got in the car and sure enough it would not start. But the engine cracked into life. He was surprised and asked the old man; “how did you know what to do?” the old man smiled and said ‘‘my name is Henry Ford. I am the one who invented your car and I know everything about it”. He travelled away.
Lenten season is the time that Church invites us to put our lives vehicle without having the pride problems of our lives that runs through the world can be repaired by us alone – before Jesus, The Mechanic, who can repair our lives completely.
It is quite natural to have the dust of sin on our lives’ vehicle, because it runs through the sinful roads of the world. When the dust falls on our vehicles, we take it to the river and clean it with water. To cleanse the dust of sin in our lives’ vehicle, let us take our vehicle into the river of confessional, and cleanse it with the water of repentance.
Prayers, sacrifices, almsgiving, rejoining the parts of broken relationships, reconciling with those hearts that we hurt, and so on are the fees that we have to pay to Jesus, The Mechanic, for servicing our lives’ vehicle in these fifty days. If we pay these fees without fail, we will be able to take out our renewed lives’ vehicle out of the service centre of Jesus to the roads to start our journey again with good mileage of purity.
If Jesus, The Mechanic, places his hands on our damaged lives’ vehicle, it will completely be renewed. He knows the ‘a – z’ of our lives’ vehicle as he is the creator of it. The word impossible is found missing in Jesus’ dictionary. In the first feast he participated, he transformed water into wine with his hand’s touch and in the last feast he participated, he transformed the wine into blood. With his hand’s touch, he took Lazarus from the cave of death to the courtyard of life. During this Lenten season, Let us also keep our lives’ vehicle for the touch of Jesus, The Mechanic.
As we keep our lives’ vehicle in the workshop of Jesus, the Mechanic, for fifty days, we need to show him the spots in our vehicle where his hand’s touch is needed. It is not because of his lack of knowledge of our vehicle but he always respects the freedom of human beings. The question that He asked to the blind men still echoes his respect for our freedom. “What do you expect me to do for you” (Matthew 20:32). As the blind men answered him by telling “Lord open our eyes”, let us also plead to Jesus for the blessings that we are in need of.
No vehicle is perfect. That is why each day new models of vehicles appear in the market. God is the only one who is perfect. Even the first vehicle manufactured by Him lacked perfection. It was because of its imperfection that vehicle went in search of the tree which beard the fruit of discretion. We need to reflect whether it is in our pride – that our lives’ vehicle is complete – or are we in need of Jesus’ touch?
It is to Jesus that we have to leave the steering of our lives’ vehicle. Is it in our lazy attitude of giving the steering of our lives’ vehicle to the persons and things that drive our vehicle in to the roads of destructions, we require Jesus’ touch in this Lenten season? Even Zecheus who left his life’s steering to the hands of money stands before us as a model by giving it back to the hands of Christ and there by securing the safety of his lives’ vehicle (Luke 19).
There are definite tracks for each vehicle to travel. Usually, the accidents take place when we enter in to other tracks without indicator. For the smooth running of our lives’ vehicle, God has drawn the tracks with the Ten Commandments and the five commandments of the Church. To reach before others, at times like Yonnah we also take out our lives’ vehicle from the defined path and run it as we like. Lenten season is a time to return to the awareness of prodigal son that our lives’ vehicle have deviated from God-drawn tracks and to get back into the tracks of safety prepared by Jesus (Luke 15).
We keep spare wheels in our vehicles just because we do not have confidence in the manufactures of our vehicles. Some times without having confidence in Jesus, the manufacturer of our lives’ vehicle, we too keep the spare wheels of money, property, gold etc., in our lives’ vehicle. This lent is an opportunity to remove and throw away the spare wheels that we have kept in our lives’ vehicle because of the lack of faith in Christ.
By hearing the blind man’s prayer –“Lord, Lord, I do not have the eye sight”- Jesus, The Mechanic, fitted two eyes as head lights in his life’s vehicle. As we keep our lives’ vehicle in Jesus’ workshop for service for fifty days, let us stay with Christ with prayers to renew our lives’ vehicle.
Fr. Joby Kochupurayil CST