From a Creighton Student's Perspective
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
February 27th, 2009
Junior, Physics Major
Today is the first Friday of Lent. The Lenten journey is still new, with a whirlwind beginning of Ash Wednesday followed closely by this first Friday. In my experience, these first few days of Lent can be the easiest or they can be the hardest days of the entire season. Since the season is young, I am eager to fast and abstain from meat and am gung-ho for my brand new Lenten resolutions. However, right at the beginning, I am still unused to the sacrifice and it can be hard to resist the desire of “taking a day off” from Lent in the name of easing myself into it. With these feelings in hand, I ask myself what the readings from today mean for this season of Lent. Why are they placed right at the beginning of this seasonal journey? What message am I supposed to gain to set me on the straight and narrow path for the next 40 days? What is the point and focus of this season of Lent?
The readings today clearly focus on fasting and self-sacrifice with the proper attitude of penance for wrong-doings. We have all shamed God by our willingness to sin and our response must be to repent and make an offering to God to divert the wrath that will rightfully fall upon us. So what is it exactly that we should offer up to God as penance for our transgressions? As the Psalmist says today, “You [God] are not pleased with sacrifices.” Traditionally, we give up something important, such as food or money, and see this as an acceptable sacrifice to offer during the season of Lent. And yet, giving something up is my usual sacrifice during Lent, so I guess that I will have to come up with something else. As Isaiah emphasizes in the first reading, my sacrifice is not about me and how I am punishing myself for sinning against God. Instead, God desires that my sacrifice be to help others. Through others, I can find God and grow closer to understanding the purpose of my life. This Lenten season, I am focusing on being more proactive in my approach to my sacrifice and to create something out of the next forty days instead of giving something up.
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