Happy April Fool’s Day! I don’t know a good trick so I thought I would share one of my pastor’s jokes, may it bring a smile to your heart.
“A friend had been teaching her three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord's Prayer for several evenings at bedtime. Caitlin would repeat after her mother the lines from the prayer. Finally, Caitlin decided to go solo. My friend listened with pride as her daughter carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: ‘Lead us not into temptation,’ she prayed, ‘but deliver us from e-mail.’” Thank you, Father Tom.
Over that past week, I had the opportunity to reflect on several Lenten reflections that I had on hand for the season. I also had some wonderful conversations with friends that have reminded me of one special Lent a long time ago.
I was traveling to Haiti for an onsite project visit and it happened to be Ash Wednesday. The entire day which started at 3 a.m., was consumed with travel. If you have ever done this trip, you’ll understand the journey. When we final arrived at our destination and rested for a while, I realized that I hadn’t celebrated Ash Wednesday liturgically! I then realized that I had celebrated it all day. We were dusty from our travels, hungry, and also blessed. This was a poor land that gave us all its ashes. I wasn’t in some pristine church sitting in a comfortable pew listening to a wonderful homily and lining up to receive ashes. For me, it was a different way to start and think about Lent.
Today, with all that is happening, we are in a similar space. We may have made different plans for our Lent and yet many of us have been truly led into the dessert. Is this what Lent is about? Being stripped of what we know and are comfortable with? And in situations that may leave us alone and distant from others? With students studying at home and parents losing jobs? Does this ring a bell?
I must admit that this Lent that has been similar to my Haiti Lent. Pope Francis last Friday reminded us of Jesus talking to the Apostles in a storm, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Pope Francis said, “The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice the solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support, and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering.”
So how are you going to live out the rest of your Lent? Will it be in the desert of the times we are going through? Will you be strengthened by those around you who are encouraging you and being selfless? We are all capable of making good choices and having a positive outlook. Keep doing those things that reawaken and strengthen the faith that lies within you. We are blessed.
Till next week,
Photo: Sr. Barbara Sudol is finding joy and recognizing God in the everyday moments of this challenging time.