Lent starts a season of penance for Christians across the world wishing to repent of sin, recognize their need for God and re-dedicate themselves to a higher purpose. Although repentance is the theme, it is not a season of regret but of hope: hope that one can change and can become whole through God.
As observers of Lent, we are often asked to engage in acts of service, or give up extras in our lives. There are days of fasting. But why? It's because giving up on selfish desires and engaging in acts of service allows us to reconnect with God and with the needs of our community.
The homily at tonight's Ash Wednesday Mass focused on the selfish nature of sin: that all of us desire good, but that evil comes from desiring good for ourselves at the expense of someone else.
How often do our habits come at the expense of others without us even realizing it? Letting go of, and learning to control, our desires helps us to reset ourselves and get back to what is truly important in our lives: our personal relationships with God and one another.
Today has been a day of reflection with a focus on what this Lent should mean for me. My goal, this season, is to get back to living more intentionally and purposefully. That means being present in the moment and participating and engaging in activities that make a positive difference. That means cutting distractions like social media and using them purposefully rather than out of boredom or habit. It means being disciplined enough to engage in reflection every day.
What will this season mean for you? Whatever it is I wish I hope you are blessed in all the ways you wish to be.