Lenten Reflection: 2/17/2021
Doesn’t Lent seem like boot camp sometimes? Prayer, fasting, almsgiving—all require sacrifice and effort. Of course, we take up these practices because we want to please God (and maybe lose a few pounds!). But in today’s Gospel, Jesus promises even greater rewards; he says his Father will “repay” us for whatever sacrifices we make (Matthew 6:4, 6). What might that look like?
Let’s start with prayer. God wants you to experience his goodness this Lent, and that happens primarily as you spend time with him in prayer. So try attending daily Mass, Adoration, or a retreat this Lent. Read a new spiritual book or pray through one of the Gospels during the next six weeks. Try to carve out this time to open yourself to God so that he can reveal himself to you.
Fasting can be difficult, but when you fast, you make room for God. Every time you stop yourself from reaching for that dessert, you are emptying yourself of your desires and asking God to fill you up. Every time you take off an evening from your screens, you are giving him the opportunity to speak to you.
And what about almsgiving? Not only does it bring you closer to people in need; it teaches you detachment. The more you can detach yourself from your material possessions to bless other people, the more you discover that you were made for God. You realize that your life and your happiness don’t depend on the things money can buy.
Like any boot camp, Lent can seem long and hard. Even minor sacrifices can wear us down over time. But whatever you decide to do, know that God will graciously “repay” you—with his presence, with his love, and with his grace.
“Lord, help me to experience more of your blessings this Lent.”