With the deep sentiments of repentance we are entering the season of lent. Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the wilderness is the spiritual basis of this season. During the lent we meditate specially on the sinful nature of the humanity, the punishment caused by his sin, need of repentance and the compassion and mercy of the Lord for the humanity.
God promises that when we are ready to repent and come back to him, he is always ready to forgive and accept us. The real spirit of the lent is made clear in the book of Joel. “Rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing” (Joel 2: 13).
Human beings are created by the Lord to love him and to be with him. But he forgot his primary call and went away from the Lord by sinning. He was not able to come back to the Lord with his own efforts and abilities. But the Lord God did not forsake him in his sinful nature and did not condemn him for punishment. Rather, he showed his unfathomable love and compassion by sending his only begotten son for our salvation. Jesus through his incarnation, suffering, death and the resurrection, freed humanity from the clutches of sin. Thus gave him back his divine grace and made him worthy to call God ‘Abba, Father’.
By observing the lent, we are partaking in the salvific mission of Jesus. Thus we enter into a phase of repentance and the turning our hearts to the Lord. So our main focus should be on turning to the Lord and coming back to him with a heart filled with love. By loving our brethren wholeheartedly, spending more time in prayer and union with the Lord, and observing penance and mortification, let us make best result from this season of lent.
Fr Joseph Mundolickal CST