The Joy of Lent

40 Shades of Lent
Saturday after Ash Wednesday, 08 March 2019
Isaiah 58:9-14///Luke 5:27-32

Our loving Father, we are now about to enter the first Sunday of Lent. We have been trying to be serious with this season with our prayers and fasting. But, let us not lose sight of the fact that Lent is a joyous season too as we wait for Easter!

There are times O Lord some of us feel like Levi, sitting alone at the customs post, surrounded with all the wealth and trappings of the world, longing for some meaning in life. Maybe like Levi in that little customs post, some of us feel trapped in our sinfulness with no help in sight.

But, then you came, O Lord Jesus, like a shaft of light amid the darkness, just passing by, saying “follow me” (Lk. 5:27) without even asking our sins or work or world. You asked us nothing but you know everything about us. And that is the mystery that caught us!

What a joy being called to follow you, despite our sinfulness. Remind us always of that joy of Lent that in the midst of our sinfulness and darkness, you still come to call us to follow you.

Help us, O Lord to “remove oppression from our midst, false accusation, and malicious speech… bestow bread to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted” (Is.58:9-10). Help us to sustain our efforts in following you in every direction by being good and just with one another. Amen.

The Calling of St. Matthew (Levi), a painting by Caravaggio which is one of the favorite masterpieces frequently visited by Pope Francis in Rome while still a student and Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Let us keep in mind that Lent, despite it penitential character, is a joyful season of Christ’s coming. Images from Google.

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