Today is the start of lent – a forty-day period of reflection and preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus.
While Lent is not officially in the Bible, it draws its inspiration from the many passages of scripture about sacrifice, reflection, and fasting in both the Old and New Testaments: Moses leading the Israelites through the desert for 40 days, Jesus wandering through the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, etc.
This season is a time of surrender and repentance, of considering Christ’s sufferings and rethinking how we are called to take up our own crosses as we prepare for Easter and all that it means.
Some people think up things to remove from their lives, like chocolate, television or social media.
Others try to incorporate something new, like visiting a senior’s facility, exercising, or praying more specifically and deliberately.
Whatever it is you decide to do, think of this season as an intentional time to rethink how you live and to reflect on Christ and all that His death and resurrection mean to you.
Or in the wise words of Pope Francis…
- Fast from hurting words and say kind words
- Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude
- Fast from anger and be filled with patience
- Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope
- Fast from worries and have trust in God
- Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity
- Fast from pressures and be prayerful
- Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy
- Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
- Fast from grudges and be reconciled
- Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.
“Even now,” declares the Lord “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Joel 2:12