The Lenten season brings different meanings to each of us. For me, it is particularly a season of reflection as well as promise and change. Frequently during the years I look back on whether I am doing all I can to follow the plan that God has for me. Has enough of my life been one of service to others? However, on Ash Wednesday it all comes together. Forcing me to reflect on what I have done and what I could have done better. It sounds rather unusual but I always look at the 40 days of Lent as 40 days of intimate confession.
On the day that Jesus and his disciples walked toward Jerusalem, Jesus understood that this was to be His last trip. It was to take place about a week before His Resurrection. As he was entering Jerusalem, people came running towards Him. They had heard that He had helped the blind and the sick and made a dead man come back to life. Riding a donkey was deemed to be a sign of peace not war. One by one, out of respect, they laid their coats on the ground for the donkey to step on. They ran to the nearby fields and trees and cut palm branches and laid them down on the path as well. However, as Jesus saw Jerusalem, it made Him sad that He came to help the people, but since no one realized that He was God they did not accept Him. We should learn from His disappointment. No matter how discouraged Jesus became—it never kept Him from doing what He believed was important to His followers. Despite what our feelings are towards others we should always be sensitive to their needs.
This is one of my favorite times of year—it is a cleansing and a chance to offer more of myself to others. The liturgy during those 40 days can be life changing. The beauty of Palm Sunday and the sharing of the palms is special. No matter how often my elderly grandparents were unable to attend Mass on that day—it was important that we shared our palms with them. And on Holy Saturday I have always looked forward to physically leaving church and coming back on Easter morning with a renewed feeling of beauty and peace. It is like a fresh beginning. Usually I attend an Easter sunrise service on the side of a mountain in La Crescenta, CA. As you sit on the grass and listen to the liturgy and music watching the sun come up—you feel as though you have in many ways been reborn and have a chance to restart your faith in getting closer to achieving God’s plan for you. It is as if all is right with the world.
I wish each of you my BVM sisters and associates all the blessings that God offers you.