Lent is a way to “pack our bags” to prepare ourselves for Easter. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and I still didn’t know what I would give up, for Lent, like chocolate or wine, or what I was going to add, like more volunteer work.
Rev. Roger Senechal’s sermon gave me the answer I needed: I’m giving up my constant desire for the approval and affirmation from others.
Rev. Senechal reminded us that we read the familiar passage of Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 every Ash Wednesday where Jesus presumes that we will give alms, pray and fast. He doesn’t say “if” you give alms, but, “when” you give alms. So Jesus isn’t concerned about “what” we do, but “why” we are doing it. We’re missing the point if we act pious in front of others in order to hear their praise. Instead we need to “pray to your Father who sees in secret” and “He will reward you.” As our Father “sees us in secret”, He loves us so much that he can’t take his eyes from us and is constantly looking for ways to bless us.
I need to respond by not taking my eyes away from God.
For Lent, Rev. Senechal and I will be giving up doing things for “show”. Instead we’re going to honor God by doing what he asks and seeking only His approval.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…but store them up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
For the next 40 days, no sackcloth and ashes for me. I want my heart to sing and long only for God!
Blessings, my friend,