Blow the trumpet, it’s Lent! Gather the people, it’s Lent. Enlarge my heart, it’s Lent.
As I begin to write this reflection for Ash Wednesday, I’m amazed at the speed of time, as I am equally amazed at my slowing down! I always have looked forward to Lent and viewed it as a graced time, an opportunity to enter into a sacred space as I allow our God to transform me- and all of us together as Church.
We, as School Sisters of Notre Dame, have a new Directional Statement- “Love Gives Everything.” Really? Yes, really. And, Lent is the time. It is the time to join with Jesus and enter into the Paschal Mystery – his life, death and resurrection. Easier said than done! Perhaps for me this Lent, it will be exploring how I can be transformed. How my heart can be enlarged and changed. How I can I allow God to use me to be His hands and feet – His ambassador in our world today. St. Paul says it so well in the second reading for today’s liturgy.
And, the Gospel tells us how to tackle Lent. “When you pray, do not stand on street corners. When you fast, do not look gloomy. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you.” Yes, our loving God, it seems, wants us to be cheerful givers, open to change, putting love in action. Perhaps we together can allow God to do for us what we can’t do ourselves. Break us out of the bonds of old patterns and push beyond the limits of narrow love into God’s unconditional love…a love that gives everything. Together this Lent, let us allow our God to change us. I’m in, how about you?
Sr. Judy Herold, SSND
St. Anthony Parishioner (and former Pastoral Associate)