by Father Dan Morris
As I write this article while sequestered in Lawrence, I do so experiencing — along with the rest of the world — a new kind of normal.
For the next several weeks, maybe months, we find ourselves entering into a time of imposed social distancing — no sports, eating out, going out, large social gatherings or even public Masses . . . . Talk about March Madness!
As one person posted on Facebook, “I never intended to give this much up for Lent!”
At the very least, it’s a reminder that there’s a difference between choosing how we enter into this holy season and having that chosen for us.
While the first affords us the opportunity to maintain a false sense of control over our lives and avoid things that we probably need to work on, the latter exposes opportunities that remain for us to exercise a greater faith and trust in God, something that only serves to benefit us in the long run.
I’ll be honest. If the first week of this “new normal” is any indication of the possibilities that exist, I think this season of Lent holds the potential to be one of the best ever. Because, for the first time in a long time, many of us truly find ourselves in a desert not of our choosing.
It’s a desert that holds the power to remind us of the things that truly matter, such as faith, family and investing in the many people that God has put into our lives.
Also it’s a desert helping us identify and return to those things we may have started taking for granted, such as the Mass, the Eucharist, the sacrament of reconciliation — and, overall, just how we have been choosing to spend the gift that is our time.
Lent is a sacred time that Jesus Christ and his church give us to rediscover what it means that we have been made for relationship — first with God, and then with one another.
At the heart of which stands an invitation from Jesus Christ to “remember” that we have been created, saved and called to eternally share in the life of a God who is love.
Pray that in just a few short weeks, we find ourselves once again able to gather publicly as the body of Christ to celebrate now with greater appreciation and devotion, the LAST, FIRST and ONLY supper that matters in our lives.
It is a supper at which Our Lord will once again give us the “novum mandatum” (“new commandment”), as well as the grace to “love one another, as I have loved you.”
Come Easter, may all of us find ourselves recommitted to fully engaging this life and vocation that Jesus Christ has won for us!