I. Lent: A “Turning Point” of Christian Life
Lent is God’s call to us to recognize the truth of our lives, to get in touch with the ways in which we have lost our truth, our ideals and our connection with community. This is a spiritual journey searching the innermost corners of our heart. Lent is not a sad time but a quiet time. It is a time to go deep within the interior desert of our soul. It can put us in touch with our real hunger. It can stir in us the courage to confront what keeps us from following the Christ to Jerusalem.
Lent is a call to holiness (wholeness). Let this Lent be an honest time in which we use the season to ponder and make new decisions that will bring us to wholeness. The capacity to forgive and ask for forgiveness is acknowledgment that we have broken bonds and the break diminishes us as persons. It is an opportunity for putting back together the world that we have damaged by our actions.
Lent is a time of repentance, of rending our hearts, opening them to God’s mercy and forgiveness and opening them to our sisters and brothers. Forgiveness presumes a horizon larger than self. It is a decision for freedom. If the essence of freedom is choice, then the object of freedom is commitment. “Repentance is an absolute, spiritual decision made in truthfulness. Its motivations are remorse for the past and responsibility for the future.” Lent is a time to take back the pieces of our lives that has been given over to what is not of God. Each of us knows what is not right in our life.
II. An invitation to enter into the dynamic of the story of Jesus the JESUS-EVENT in our life.
1. Formation of being a disciple of Jesus:
1.1. Faith-ing process: Knowing the story of Jesus. What do you believe? (Desire for God – “What do you seek? Where do you live? Come and See… They remain”
1.2. Mission: Telling the story of Jesus. Acting out your belief (Community of disciples – Church)
1.3. Spirituality: Living the story of Jesus. Becoming what you believe (the power behind the person’s motivation – to do something important for God, to move away from self-centeredness to other-centeredness, and to respond to God with generosity of heart.
2. Jesus and the Kingdom of God
2.1. Kingdom requirement: Conversion – to turn towards: ‘repent and believe!’
2.3. Vision-Mission of Jesus: Luke 4: 16-18
2.4. Thru his life, parables, preaching and healing, restoring the dead, breaking barriers, bridging hope
2.5. Hope for the new heaven and new earth: Kingdom where truth, justice, love, peace and harmony shall reign
3. Journeying with Jesus to Jerusalem: Passion Sunday
III. “Go and Tell… “I Have Seen the Lord! …” “Remember…”
Understanding ‘Story’ and Telling Story
• Human life is unimaginable without stories.
• Telling stories comes so naturally to us that we do not reflect sufficiently on its significance for our lives.
• Remembrance is vital if we want to grow in self-knowledge. But we remember by telling stories. Memory is made of stories rather than mere chronology and stories bring experience back to mind.
1. Good stories are based on experience.
2. Stories reveal personal identity and people and events that shaped that identity.
3. Stories are dynamic, open to reinterpretation and re-telling, and transformative.
4. Stories are the ground for understanding spiritual, doctrinal and ethical symbols.
5. Stories form community.
6. Stories when received can transform the listener.
7. Stories can be told in a variety of ways.
8. Stories can be suppressed.
The Purpose of Confession
That reconciling of man to God is the purpose of Confession. When we sin, we deprive ourselves of God’s grace. And by doing so, we make it even easier to sin some more. The only way out of this downward cycle is to acknowledge our sins, to repent of them, and to ask God’s forgiveness. Then, in the Sacrament of Confession, grace can be restored to our souls, and we can once again resist sin.
What Is Required?
Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:
1. Must be contrite - or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
2. Must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
3. Must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins.
Proclaim the experience of the Risen Lord …
ACT JUSTLY, LOVE TENDERLY, and WALK HUMBLY with the God of Creation