Once again, the Lord gives us the gift of this important season – as the Church tells us – the Season of Lent; time in which we reflect on our faith and prepare ourselves for Easter, that great Paschal event, consequently we also have to reflect on our life: how we lived it both personally and as a community. The Church presents before us three pillars, which Jesus developed in the Gospel of Ash Wednesday, Matthew 6:1-6.16-18.
In this text he offers us the three pillars of the Christian life: prayer, fasting and almsgiving and He proposes it to us in a humble, simple way, without vanity.
He proposes a simple, intimate, deep, hidden prayer, nothing external; a prayer in which we only seek God’s gaze and his heart, and Jesus wants it to be a dialogue with him, that we listen to his Word, in which we will find what he wants us to do. That in this time of prayer we keep in mind the needs of all our brothers, the difficult situations that all of humanity is going through, religious, political, economic situations…
The fasting that we observe is not an exterior act, as the Pharisees did, but rather putting ourselves in the skin of the other, in the shoes of the one who suffers, in reviewing our attitudes and actions, in scrutinizing the motives we have in giving ourselves and helping others. That we know how to fast from so many things that complicate our lives; those that make us lose peace; that we put aside the relationships that harm us, and those that hurt others. That we know how to fast from so many disappointments, from so many worries, from so many destructive words, from so many indifferences… and that we know how to open ourselves to others as our brothers and sisters.
The alms that he wants from us is to be fastidiously concerned about the needs of the other, of those closest to us, of those who suffer, our sisters who feel lonely, sick, the elderly… Let us be attentive, giving them some of our time, saying words of encouragement, that we comfort and inspire those who are sad and lonely. Many times, it is enough just to be kind, to give a smile, say a word that inspires, words that make them happy in the midst of so much indifference that they so often meet.
Let us ask the Lord that in these days of Lent we be shown the path of love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and the capacity to accept everyone.
May Mary, our guide on this Lenten journey, lead us to an ever deeper knowledge of Christ, the one who died and is risen. That She, who is the faithful servant of her Son, intercede for each one of us now and always.
I wish you all a Blessed Lent and a Happy Easter!
A sisterly embrace and my prayer,
Sor Mª Asunción González, O.P.