As we embark upon our Lenten journey this year there will be many opportunities for each of us to participate in this special time of preparation for the greatest feast of the liturgical year. Many of us will attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, receiving the sign of ashes to remind us that our very lives are a gift from God. Perhaps we will give up one of our favorite foods or forms of social media as a daily reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Maybe some of us will choose to do something extra this Lent, like giving extra compliments, attending Stations of the Cross with our family, spending time in Eucharistic adoration, or visiting a lonely relative or friend. Whatever we choose, we will do it in solidarity with Christ’s passion and crucifixion, remembering that we are the sinners that he died to save.
Whatever small sacrifices we choose this Lent, let us remember that the season for which we are preparing is not only a reminder of the crucifixion; it is a celebration of the miracle that happened three days later! Perhaps this year we can all make an effort to live in the deep joy that the Resurrection offers us. As Pope Francis reminds us, the Resurrection is the “beating heart which gives life to everything.”
May the victory of the Resurrection and the hope of Christ among us guide our hearts and minds during these Lent and Easter seasons, and may we always strive to joyfully live the words of St. John Paul II:
“We are the Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song!”