Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
EX 32: 7-14
PS 106: 19-20, 21-22, 23
Today’s reading reminds us that Lent is a time for spiritual growth, self-denial, and conversion. In the first reading, the scripture states, “Go down at once to your people…for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them…”
In the midst of our busy lives, sometimes we find that we have let our relationship with Christ fall on the wayside. We have become victim to the habit of busyness that we jeopardize our relationship with Christ. We have so many roles as individuals – students, professors, mothers, fathers, friends -- that we get so caught up in the millions of things we need to do and the never-ending to-do lists. We tell ourselves that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things we need to do and as a result our relationship with God suffers. It is during this season of Lent that God whispers to us, “Come back. Remember my love.” Lent is a time in which we need to come back to Christ and to remember that we can never be too busy to enrich our relationship with Him. Ask yourself where you are in your relationship with God, and then ask yourself where you want to be.
Like the scripture indicates, sometimes we lose sight of what is at the heart of it all – Christ. Lent is a time to repair whatever distance you might find between where you are with God and where you want to be. Lent calls you to deny yourself and come back to the open arms of God and to the love that He freely offers.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only be-gotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.”
Sometimes it’s hard to grasp this beauty of Christ’s love. Let today be a reminder of why you made these Lenten promises. Lent is a reminder of Christ’s unfailing love and the beauty of God’s love for us, His children, so much so that he sacrificed his only begotten Son, so that we might be saved and be with Him for all eternity. We can get lost in the sacrifice of Lent that we forget to be thankful for the fruits of the spirit that come from self-denial. Lent is not just a time of taking away something in our life, but rather the addition of graces that come from the self-denial of these sacrifices. We take away those ties to the world, in hopes of gaining more for our soul. In the Gospel, Jesus asks the Jews why they turn to everywhere else except Him. Why is it that we look to other places to satisfy our longings? Why do we feel that anything of this world can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts more than Christ? We must look at the beauty of the Crucifix and recognize that that alone is proof of the greatest love there ever was. A man died to save us and sometimes we become so numb to that fact.
We must take this time of Lent to understand the beauty that lies behind the cross. We must believe in the love that God has freely given. Sometimes we forget. But Christ died on the cross, not so that we may forget but so that we may be saved and rejoice in the joy of being saved. Each time we celebrate the beauty of the mass we are called to remember the beauty of the sacrifice that Christ so freely gave.Christ invites us to open our hearts to Him and He wants to make a dwelling place in our hearts. His arms are open wide, yet sometimes we do not accept that open invitation. How beautiful it is that the same God who created the complexity and intricacy of the stars and the universe wants to have a deeper relationship with us. What a beautiful thought to know that our hearts were made for Him by Him.
Lent is a time to recognize God’s deeper love so that we might set our eyes on that which Christ has always called us to - a greater intimacy with Him. Let these readings speak to your eternal soul and let this lent be a time of self-sacrifice in the beauty of Christ’s invitation. It is through self-sacrifice that we might be reminded that the only thing we need to sustain our souls is God alone.
This Lenten season, let us become more aware of the beauty of God’s presence and His unfailing love in our lives.
Leigh-Ann Calotes is a Sophomore studying Psychology.