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Trading Sorrow for Salvation

To surrender control of our lives to anyone or anything is scary. We prideful creatures can be reluctant to see our need for a Savior because we believe that giving ourselves to him means giving up who we are. We would rather handle our problems with determination—struggling through our sorrows with clenched fists raised to heaven in indignation—than admit we are powerless before God. 

And yet, Lent begins with a surrender. With the sign of our salvation etched on our foreheads, we are called to remember that we are but dust and ash, made of this earth, and still God loves us. He proved this infinite love by sending his Son to take on flesh and heap upon himself the sins of humanity. This perfect sacrifice breaks the shell of our hardened hearts, leading us to take the first step on a narrow path through the wilderness, where our selfish sins lay bare and our sorrow overwhelms us until his love turns it all to joy.

While our Lenten journey is personal, we remain connected to our brothers and sisters in Christ through the cross and his eternal once-for-all sacrifice. In the quiet of the confessional, our repentance brings relief and restoration. At the table of the Lord, the Eucharist unites us with the moment when humanity and heaven are reconciled forever. In this holy season, with the sign of our frailty and hope upon our heads, we know we are forever held in the perfect love of God.

Lord of our salvation, may we walk this desert way of hope knowing that your Son came from heaven to walk this world and transform our lives. In Jesusí name I pray, amen! 

At Christmas, we may focus on Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. During Lent, it is also proper to celebrate his courage and faithfulness. Through Joseph, Jesus received his birthright as a legal descendant from David’s royal line. Beyond this, Joseph accepted God’s call to take Mary and Jesus into his home, to protect and serve them as husband and father according to the perfect plan of God.

Joseph is a model of faithfulness we can look to during the days of Lent. Over and over, God’s word reveals his plan for the royal Son, Jesus our Savior, unfolding through the course of salvation history in the lives of men like Joseph. We also are part of this eternal story of deliverance, living out our own call to play our part in God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. Lent teaches us to surrender our fears and arrogance so God may reveal his regal will in our lives to rescue souls from death.

How will we, like Joseph, submit to the King of Kings as we take our place in his kingdom and help to bring the gospel to the world? Ρ

Adapted from Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter by Mark C. McCann,
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Published inReflections