THE BISHOP'S CROZIER: Our Lenten journey with Christ
By Bishop James R. Golka
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Feb. 22, we celebrate Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The season of Lent is a wonderful time for the Church to reflect more deeply upon what meaning our lives now have because of Christ’s suffering, dying and rising.
Our Lenten journey with Christ helps us to recover the truth that our purpose and destiny do not come from us. Our reason for existence is rooted solely in God.
As we examine our American culture we find the overriding presumption that “Man is the measure of all things.” This myth gives rise to the idea that human purpose is to be found in acquisition, control, power, wealth and individual autonomy. Human purpose supposedly comes from anything that will separate the human individual from the rest of the world. This is a lie.
The season of Lent reveals to us a God who is extremely concerned with our world. Since God became human our world of meaning is turned upside down. The human is not the measure of all things. Rather, the human is the disclosure of the divine.
Many things on earth are precious, some are holy, and humanity is the holiest of God’s creation. To meet a human being is an opportunity to sense an image of God, the presence of God. God is the measure of all things.
The time of Lent reveals to us a God who greatly desires to be in relationship with us. Oftentimes, the spiritual life is characterized by ways and methods of prayer so that we might find God in the midst of our many daily activities. We understand spirituality as our search for God. This is not the story we find in the Gospels! Spirituality is not our effort to find God; rather it is God’s effort in searching for us! Christian faith reveals a God in search of humanity. God is working ceaselessly to find us and save us.
Lent reveals a God who desires to live in partnership with us. Clearly, the God of Good Friday and Easter Sunday is not detached from, or indifferent to, the sufferings and joys of God’s people. God does not stand outside the range of human suffering and sorrow. God is personally involved in, even stirred by, the conduct and fate of humanity.
Let us allow this Lenten season to transform our spirits and our minds. May we move out of the narrowness of self-interest and let us be open to the wonder of God.
Lent asks us to invite God to intervene in our lives; to let God’s will prevail in our affairs. It is the opening of a window to God in our will, an effort to make Christ the Lord of our soul.
May God bless our Lenten journey.