By: Rick Hernandez
A couple of days ago, as I was contemplating the meaning of the Lenten season, I felt inspired to look up the etymology of the word “season”. This is what I found:
When I think of the “sower”, I can’t help but picture our Lord Jesus Christ. From times immemorial, the sower spreads the seed all over the land, each seed landing in a different spot. The time and place mean opportunity to the seed. It is in that present moment that the seed can take hold of the ground and get nourishment, making the most of the opportunity. If it does this, it will thrive. If the seed does not grab hold of the opportunity, it will perish.
So, how are we like seeds? What does it mean for us to have opportunity? Christ Jesus is the Divine Sower; we are his seeds. Our Lord, in His great love and wisdom has given us both a time and a place so that we sprout and live fruitfully. That time is now and the place is here. Lent is our reminder of that. Lent is our season, our time of opportunity, our time to do His work. Maybe this Lent, we will all be a people of the “season”. Together let us pray.
For our sake, Lord, You created all that is seen and unseen. For our sake You became incarnate, lived amongst us, taught the many, loved us all, and showed us how to live. For us and for our salvation You died on the cross. For our sake You also resurrected on the third day, opened the gates of Heaven. For our sake You fulfilled all of scripture, promises made out of love. For our sake, Lord, You became humble bread and wine, body and blood, the Paschal Lamb. Out of love You became the Food for Eternal life, the nourishment for the journey home. From Your perfect sacrifice, the most perfect gift to the Father, You redeemed us, poor sinners.
Lord, You atoning for our sin? We do not deserve that, yet You willed it; such is Your love. You have done so much… and just what is it that You ask of us? Love and faithfulness. You ask that we take this life You have given to us and use it for good, that we do not turn away our eyes from those in need, those that You love. You ask that we reach out our hands, that through them You may soothe the pain of the ones who suffer; that we may teach the ignorant, accompany the lonely, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, share with the poor, love the unloved, visit the jailed, and tend to the sick. You are asking us to care… that the work of these human hands now be as the work You do on this world with Your very hands, that it may leave a real mark in the lives of the many, that it may show them exactly who You are.
You ask that mercy and compassion be given to our brothers and sisters. You ask that we might see them through Your eyes, to see them with Your love. In this time we have now on this Earth, we are but preparing to go home to Heaven. Lord, we do hope that when we show up to the gates of Heaven, we do so in the company of all our brothers and sisters that we tended to in this life. Oh Lord, how much we desire to share of Your infinite light and Your all-encompassing love, all of us together!
It is not too much to ask of us, Lord. Please, grant us the strength to do Your work with a joyful heart, that we may glorify You always and in everything, forever Yours. Amen.
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
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