By: Bobot Apit Apr 9, 2011 - Saturday Meditation (Time of Pruning and Re-growth!)
Lent is actually a word for “Spring.” Abstaining from something is a good thing, but only if it really helps our spirits “spring” into Easter. Like the new green shoots appearing on plants in early spring, Lent is a sort of process of pruning and re-growth. What I really need to give up are the things that push me away from God. What are those things, my friend? GOD BLESS! Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent Jericho 11:18-20 Psalm 7:2-3, 9bc-10, 11-12 John 7:40-53 When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This is really the prophet." 41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee ? 42 Has not the scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem , the village where David was?" 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. 45 The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?" 46 The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!" 47 The Pharisees answered them, "Are you led astray, you also? 48 Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed." 50 Nicode'mus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?" 52 They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee ." 53 They went each to his own house. Meditation by Patrick Borchers (Creighton) Some years I felt like I “failed” Lent. I used to treat it like a required course that I didn’t really want to take but needed to graduate. Rather than really participating in it, I would – in a metaphorical sense – sit in the back of the class, not say much, turn in as much homework as I needed to get by and wait for it to end. This, I can assure you, is not the way to approach Lent. Those years I would have been better off just ignoring it than going through the motions. Like the Pharisees in today’s Gospel, I was trying to adhere to the letter of the law without so much as giving a thought to its spirit. I have tried to sort through my memories as to why I used to think of Lent this way. I suppose part of it was that as a child I associated it only with “giving up” things and the anticipation of the fun of hunting for Easter eggs when that joyous day rolled around. What finally snapped me out of it was a conversation with a Jesuit friend of mine here at Creighton who pointed out to me that Lent is actually a word for “Spring.” As I pondered that fact, it finally occurred to me that I had been doing Lent all wrong. Of course abstaining from something is a good thing, but only if it really helps our spirits “spring” into Easter. The long slow rise of my spirit from Ash Wednesday to Easter is part of my re-growth process each year. Like the new green shoots appearing on plants in early spring, Lent is a sort of process of pruning and re-growth. What I really need to give up are the things that push me away from God. So even if we get a late start on Lent, there’s still a chance to turn in our late “homework” (as I used to think of it) and begin again. It’s never too early, and it’s never too late.
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