In spite of the bitter cold weather, February is one of my favorite months, not because it is the month of my birthday, but it is the beginning of the holy season of Lent, which moves us towards the glory of Easter.
Lent has always been one of my favorite holy seasons. It offers us a time of repentance, a time of renewal, and a time of peace. In this joyful season, which begins on Ash Wednesday, we hear “the Kingdom of God is at hand – repent and believe in the gospel.” It is the time of year for us to ponder our relationship with God. Often people look to feel closer to God during this time. After all, unlike Advent, when we often get caught up with holiday preparations, Lent has no such distractions, allowing us more time to grow closer to God.
No one ever saw God more clearly or more often than Jesus. He saw the saving work of God in a shepherd searching for lost sheep. He saw the grace of God in a father embracing a prodigal son. He saw the love and mercy of God in the good Samaritan. For Jesus, ordinary events and ordinary people were windows to Heaven: He could look through and see God.
You and I can do the same. Our failure to see God does not mean that He is absent. God is with us all the time. We know this because why else would He take simple bread and wine and say, “This is My Body, this is My Blood, given for you. Do this in memory of Me.”
Don’t let the gloominess of winter hide the light of God that is always with us. Let this most holy season bring the gifts of hope and peace. Because of our baptism, we are called to bless, and Lent is a time to recall both how we are blessed and how we bless others.
Let this glorious season of Lent keep us strong in our faith and help us feel closer to God.