We have all lived through a year of deadly pandemic, of ongoing racial oppression, of worsening climate chaos, and other injustices. Many of us have experienced the deep sorrow of losing a loved one.
In the face of so much upheaval, Lent may seem like one more challenge to add to this year. How can we pray, fast, and practice charity when we already feel the sting of social isolation, painful sacrifice, and financial insecurity?
But Lent is not simply about denial or giving up "guilty pleasures" for 40 days. It is a great opportunity for us to renew ourselves, to reflect on the deeper meaning of these times, and to prepare for the journey ahead.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that the kind of fasting that is worth our time is fasting that "breaks unjust bonds, lets the oppressed go free, shares our bread with the hungry, shelters the homeless, clothes the naked, and does not turn its backs on its own" (Is. 58: 6-7).
We know that the world is broken and we don't need Lent to remind us of that. What we need Lent to remind us of is that justice and love are possible and that each of us has a part of play in making that a reality.
Lent is a time to ask ourselves:
To help us being our Lenten journeys, we want to share with you some resources from our partners that can help you think about these questions.
The prophet Joel tells us to "rend our hearts, not our garments" (Joel 2: 13). What he means is that it's not the superficial activities that matter. What matters is that we all have a profound change of heart and then act accordingly.
We hope you have a rewarding Lenten season!
Copyright © 2021 Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Washington, D.C.