Lent begins Ash Wednesday. What am I going to do for Lent? The supper table is a good place to ask myself the question, because Lent is about renewing ourselves as we are and where we live. The supper table is where we usually look at life here and now.
We usually face those closest to us there. Doing something for Lent must mean doing something for them, first of all, the people across the table–or maybe those who have left our table. A scripture reading early on in Lent says: “Don’t turn your back on your own.” Renewing our relationship with those closest to us is one of the ways we renew ourselves.
Besides the supper table, I guess we should also ask that question “What am I going to do?” in the place where I work, or where I go to school. Don’t turn your back on them either.
Lent is for renewing ourselves as we are, in real life and real time. It’s not about changing us into different people or changing the world we live in or going to Mars.
The Ash Wednesday scriptures tell us to pray, to fast and give alms. What am I going to do for Lent? How about praying everyday? How about fasting from my own hard opinions of others? How about thinking about others and not just myself?
What am I going to do for Lent? I hope I can get closer to God, and that means for me to get closer to Jesus Christ. Where should I begin? Let me look in the scriptures, especially the scriptures we read during Lent.
One thing we shouldn’t forget when we ask that question is another question: “What’s God going to do for us during Lent?” That’s even more important. Lent is a time of God’s grace, more than we can hope for, beyond what we could possibly earn. The great sign of God’s limitless giving is the Passion of his Son, a wondrous gift beyond all others.