Lent is a great season where we are called to fasting, almsgiving and prayer. While our motivations may vary from weight loss to genuine spiritual journeying, this is a season where we take time to stop and take stock of our lives.
What’s there that shouldn’t be there? Are there things in my life that I need to change, to move around, to let go of? Are there obstacles in the way of my relationship with Jesus and with the world around me?
Given the extent of the climate crisis that the world now finds itself in, andIreland’s dismal record on climate action, Lent would be an excellent time for each of us to examine our relationship with the earth in the hope that we might recognise the interconnectedness of all things. We might fast from our cars when can, or look at how much food, clothes and energy we consume. How are our recycling habits? You might pledge to read Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, during Lent, and perhaps to ask a few friends to join you.
Whatever you decide to do, embrace this very special time. In the Gospel we are given encouragement as we read that Jesus is being led by the Spirit into the wilderness. The wilderness is not a place to be feared: it can be a place of transformation; a place where God is ultimately in control. We might encounter our demons and temptations there, but that is part of the journey.
As with all things, we will get out of Lent what we put in. The more we put in, the greater the celebration on Easter Sunday morning.