Lent is a time of discovering and renewing of our relationship with God in faith and love. The forty days are of a personal and communal renewal in spirit and deepening of our awareness that God loves us.
This year the Lenten Season may look much different from earlier years' because of the global pandemic, but the message and meaning of Lent remain the same.
We begin the season of Lent with the reflection on the words: Remember man, you are dust and you will return to dust again (ref. Genesis 3:19). We know the reality that we are dust. We are aware of the existence of life and death. We are all mortal beings and all creation shares the same reality.
The voice of John the Baptist from the desert reminds us: The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is near, return and believe the Gospel (Mark.1:15). There is an urgent call to return to the source with a revival and renewal of the heart. The active choice is to seek renewal of the heart during this Lent. It is a decision to embrace the Good News of love and all that is associated with it.
St. Augustine would say: The completion of our work is love. It is the goal for which we run, to which we hurry and in which we will rest when we have achieved it. Love is a gift and gives our life meaning. It is love that enables us to identify the needs of others and to help those in need.
It is very explicit in the life of Jesus. The passion, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus reminds us of embracing the cross in love: A total renunciation of life in order to redeem the world. Let us therefore, spend these forty days in examining and renewing our lives of faith and love. Let us be receptive to the works of the Holy Spirit like St. Joseph, to whom this year is dedicated. We pray that the Holy Spirit to lead us to renew our lives for the life of the world.