Just four days ago, we began this great and humbling season of Lent: our annual pilgrimageâ€”as it wereâ€”of 40 days, through which we will strive to draw closer and closer to the Lord of life.Â If this is the case, where is He today that we might find Him?Â In the desertâ€¦being tested and temptedâ€¦and remaining faithful always to the Father.Â Christâ€™s faithfulness is unendingâ€¦thanks be to God!
Well, then, where are weâ€”His disciplesâ€”to go?
On Ash Wednesday, we were covered in ashes; we accepted a seal which marked the renewal of the covenant between us and the Savior.Â We chose that we should return to the dust from which we came, in order that we might rise to a new and glorious life in Christ. Â Yes, sealed in dust, the covenant between us and Godâ€”that was once made at our baptismâ€”was furthered, continued, solidified and strengthened.Â We were reminded of our promise to â€œbelieve in the gospelâ€.
And what does this gospel share with us?
In our first reading, God established through Noah a great and eternal covenant.Â Repeating His promise five different times, the Lord solemnly swore that He would always be our God, no matter what!Â And in love, our Godâ€”according to the letter of St. Peter heard in our second readingâ€”sends us His Son, that He might suffer for our own, many and particular sins, so that He might lead us always back to God and to authentic Love.Â Going even so far as to descend into the depths of hell and the realm of the dead, Christ longs to prove to usâ€”yet again and alwaysâ€”that God is ever-faithful to His covenant, ever-true to His promise of love.
So as we enter deeply into this season of Lent; this season of temptation, of dread, of suffering, of torment, of purification, please trust, my dear brothers and sisters, that Christ has been thereâ€”and remains in those placesâ€¦to draw us up, to hold us fast, to encourage us lovingly, and to raise us up againâ€¦to the glory of God the Father.
Be not afraid in these 40 days:
- even in darkness, Christ is our Light;
- even in sorrow, Christ is our Joy;
- even in suffering, Christ is our Consolation and our Hope.
God bless you throughout this holy season.