As of Ash Wednesday, March 1, “Lent” has begun – a special time of preparation for the celebration of Easter on April 16. Easter celebrates all that Jesus did and does for us – it is the celebration of his life, death and resurrection, his opening the way to new life, and of sharing life with us always. Jesus paves the way for us and opens the door to new life.
No matter how far we have come in faith thus far, we definitely need to draw even closer to the Lord. Lent is a time of “letting go” of whatever holds us back or distracts us, or blinds us. It is a special time of seeking forgiveness for our sins, and more actively seeking God’s grace and direction.
Lent is a special time of preparation and renewal. A time to “let go” of what holds us back and to “let God” lead us even more in our lives. Lent is often a time to share Fish Fries and other occasions of giving up one thing in order to open ourselves to another.
For many Lent is not only a long-standing tradition of preparation for Easter, but a time to fast, to “give up” something that over-occupies our time or food/beverage regimen as a way of making more room for the Lord in our lives. And while not limited to it, fish has been and continues to be a symbol of this ‘letting go” and of doing/eating something different than usual – fish is a symbol of letting go of the meat or busyness of life, to be sure.
And so, we will gather this Easter on April 16 at the table of the Lord to celebrate all that the Lord has done for us and continues to do with us, and calls us to do with him.
Easter – the time of Resurrection, of new life, of the Risen Lord who shows us the way to life eternal. He freed us from what holds us back and asks us to choose to follow in his steps. What a difficult thing to do at times, because we hold on so tightly to so much along the way.
It is time to “let go” and to “let God”, and to follow even more openly in his light. The Lord has come to free us from our sinfulness, from our indecisiveness, from our unwillingness to move forward and not just stay where we are. And so, we need to ask ourselves, what we tend to hold onto too tightly in life? Often, we seem to wish just to “win” or to be “first” in life.
And, as good as March Madness and other sports events are this time of year, the image may not be a bad one to get us to recognize that we are not simply called to win but to open ourselves even more to what the Lord is asking of us. The Lord is not asking us simply to win in life but to walk with him and his people as part of his “family” on the path leading to his Kingdom – to let go of anything that separates us from him and his people.
Indeed, let us learn not to simply be Easter Eggs but to become Easter Children, and come more to life in faith and walk even more with the risen Lord in his journey with us to new life. Know that the Lord always continues to lead us to let go of all the “stuff” of life that holds us back, even the stuff that we may have become so attached to that we feel that may be all there is.
Let us go on our Easter Egg Hunt of life – to find the life-giving egg or seed of new life in the Lord. And whatever you/we find that stands in the way, let us let go of it with God’s grace and hold onto his light that shines upon us and shows us the way to new life!
A truly blessed Lent and upcoming Easter to one and all! “Let Go” and “Let God”!
Fr. John E. Krumm is the Pastor of St. Brigid Catholic Church in Xenia, St. Augustine in Jamestown & St. Paul in Yellow Springs and guest columnist.