First Week in Lent

February 17, 2018

Food for the journey

Lee Breyer.

I was never good at giving up anything for Lent. It wasn’t unlike my failures at New Year’s Day intentions. And my Lenten fasts, such as they were, were not for any spiritual intention. “Give up chocolate….maybe I’ll lose a pound or two.” Didn’t last a week! When I was in the seminary, someone else made up that Lenten fast for me (and for the others), imposed it, and that lasted for 13 years…until ordination when I was more free to determine my own Lenten plan…and it’s “success” was no better than it was before I went into the seminary. I returned to my “pointless” path through Lent.

It took a while until I admitted to myself that I could no longer blame the difficulty of this process and surrendered to the idea that I was off-the-mark on what Lent was all about. It was not a period about “not doing something,” but rather an opportunity to actually “doing something” at an ever more quick pace.

I believe that God has an intention for my existence…and God has a goal for me…and God will get me there if I cooperate with the graces that I will have been offered. My job is to find and follow the spiritual path that is laid out for me. When I may wonder off that path, and then get back on, I am no further ahead (maybe a bit further behind) than I would have been had I not fallen off. My challenge is to find and take advantage of the graces, the food, along my journey.

I believe that – in some way – God has made a covenant, a divine promise, with each one of us. In the first reading today, God made a covenant to Noah…and “to every living creature for endless generations”…and that includes us…and “the waters of the flood” are the events in our lives.

So our jobs are finding and using those service stations along our paths to reenergize ourselves. The second reading spoke of the “reenergizing” of the Spirit at Pentecost. and the gospel gave us the beneficial outcomes of continuing our “pit stops” along our journeys. And the Eucharist will provide us an opportunity to do it this afternoon.

We may want to share what kind of “stops” or events we have we found to be“full filling” or energizing along our journeys.