Perhaps no other season in the church’s liturgical calendar offers opportunities for spiritual reflection as Lent does. The joyous Alleluias of Christmas and Easter are more conducive to a spirit of celebration than reflection; though the two are not, by any means, mutually exclusive. Pentecost day brings its own excitement with sounds of mighty rushing wind and tongues of flames and the birth of the church. Lent comes with its sober notes and subdued moods which bring us into a contemplative spirit.
In our Lenten spiritual journey we follow Jesus from the wilderness of temptation to the hill of Golgotha. Between these two places we see him teaching the multitude on the mountain and in the synagogues on the Sabbath; we look upon his compassionate love as he heals the sick and forgives sinners; we behold his power over creation and the evil one in miracles and exorcisms; we witness as he eats and drinks with outcasts and celebrate at a wedding in Cana; and finally we behold the spectacle of him hanging in agony on a cross, dying for our sin, dying in our place.
A spiritual pilgrimage during Lent contemplating on the life, suffering and death of our Lord can offer the benefits of renewal of life, rejuvenation of faith, and a re-awakening of spirit dulled by indifference, preoccupation with the things of the world and neglect of “the one thing that is needful” (Luke 10:41-42). Sometimes we allow the cares of life to separate us from our walk with God. It happens that peoples’ faith become weak and their religion meaningless and boring. In such cases even the joyous strains of the Alleluias of Christmas and Easter feel empty and incapable of evoking any excitement. For those who find themselves under these threats to their Christian walk, Lent can be for them a time for rediscovering a vital faith in God and a warm relationship with Him. For those who do not face these threats, Lent will be another welcomed opportunity to experience the benefits that Lenten disciplines bring.
Christians would do well to embrace Lent in the spirit and mood of contemplation. Here is an opportunity to find again the excitement of being a disciple of Christ. Let us use this Lenten Season to reflect on our lives as Christians. May we all emerge from this season renewed, refreshed and rejuvenated in faith, spiritual life, and in our walk with God.