Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday, and continues until Easter on April 16. The forty days plus the Sundays of this period are a time during which introspection, confession and repentance are the focus of daily scripture and devotional readings, prayers and worship. It is a time to draw close to God, to sit in the presence of Christ’s Spirit and have the innermost parts of our lives illumined and to confess what is revealed. There is great truth in the idiom, “Confession is good for the soul,” especially and most importantly when it is made to God. But, it doesn’t stop with confession. Confession without repentance is shallow and reeks of insincerity. To repent, or turn away from, means to leave behind the aspects of life that hinder and prevent us from following closely the way of Christ. The theme “Mandatum Novum” meaning “New Command,” is to remind us that the way of Christ runs counter to the way of the world. The way of Christ, this new command given to his disciples, is to love others as we have been loved by Jesus the Christ. During these days of Lent, make this verse a part of your daily prayer. Pray simply, “Lord, help me to love others the way you have loved me.” I believe that when you pray this simple prayer daily and mediate upon it, the Lord will direct you to people that need to know and experience God’s love. You will be guided to thoughts and ways that bring you closer to the one that sacrificed all for the sake of all.
Praise be to God.