DON'T GIVE UP SOMETHING FOR LENT, INSTEAD DO SOMETHING FOR LENT | Saturday after Ash Wednesday | Day 4

For many people Lent is a time to sacrifice something we really love, putting ourselves through penance, and abstaining from certain pleasures like social media, cinema, shopping, eat without meat, or take tea without milk, stop drinking alcoholic beverages, etc for 40 days in order to have a profound encounter with God. But the question, after Lent what happens. Do we continue these acts? The reality is that giving up small these comforts many a time instil no long-lasting virtues in us. Then why give it up in the first place? If you want to know why you should do something for lent, read slowly...

Isaiah 58:9-14

Thus, says the Lord: If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the wicked word, if you give your bread to the hungry, and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the darkness, and your shadows become like noon. The Lord will always guide you, giving you relief in desert places. He will give strength to your bones and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never run dry. You will rebuild the ancient ruins, build up on the old foundations. You will be called ‘Breach-mender’, ‘Restorer of ruined houses.’

POINTS FOR REFLECTION

1. Child of God, on this day, the third day of our journey with Jesus, the word of God calls us to reflect on our spiritual activities this season. Lent is to prepare for Easter (the resurrection), and the whole life of the church revolves around Easter, thus making us an Easter people because if Christ have not risen from the dead, as St Paul says in 1Cor 15, 14, our faith and preaching is useless. Hence lent is not all about living the cross but living the resurrection.

2. What then should I do for lent you ask me? Do acts of mercy and charity: both spiritual and corporal works. These go a long way to instil long lasting virtues in us, bringing us God’s favour, blessings and mercy. By these works, you become truly a ‘Breach-mender’, closing the gaps in the society such as hunger, sickness, insecurity, homelessness, despair, crime, and death created by inequality, limited resources, injustices, bad governance, terrorism, waste culture and moral indifference. This is the mission of Jesus. He said to those scandalised by his mission to those at the peripheries: 'It is not those who are well who need the doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the virtuous, but sinners to repentance' (Lk 5, 32). If you must follow Jesus these forty days, follow his actions. If you must give up anything at all, give up your bad habits that you transform positively the life of others, rise renewed and transformed after Lent.

TASK: Give up backbiting, complaining, gossips, and quarrels. These characteristics define the Scribes and Pharisees. God bless you. Amen

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