READINGS: SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
My dear friends, as we continue our Lenten journey, let us remember some of the greatest lessons of these past two years of coronavirus pandemic—the uncertainty of life; that life is too short; and the need to get our priorities ordered right. At the heart of Lent is fasting and the purpose of this fasting is to reset the heart..
There are two types to fasting that resets the heart—what we need to fast from and what we need to fast into. When it comes to what we need to fast from, we must look at the mountains in our lives—those structures that hold us back and drain the energy needed to live life fully. (a) worrying—it only uses our imagination to create things that we don’t want; (b) anger, rage, bitterness, wrath—it only adds wrinkles not dimples to our faces; (c) unforgiveness, revenge—it only draws divine anger and unforgiveness upon us for Scripture says, If you do not forgive, neither will I forgive you and I will remember all your sins in great detail”; (d) envy, jealous, malice—you cannot attract what you attack; (e) grudges, enmity—it only serves to weaken the immune system and creates bitterness in the soul; (f) hate, wicked acts—it only makes us enemies of God’s love and grace; (g) castigating others, criticism, judging others—Scripture says, remove the plank in your eyes before you can talk about the splinter in your neighbor’s eye;
(h) slander, calumny, gossip, bearing false witness—remember that what goes around comes around; (i) regrets, self-condemnation, living in past sins; misery, loneliness, self-pity—life is just too short to be spent that way; (j) procrastination, excuses—it is devil's tool of choice to abort human dreams and goals; (k) fear, doubt—it only creates paralysis for what needs to be done today; (l) seeking human approval and praises—it only makes us live life for others and not for ourselves; (m) brawling, reviling, yelling—it hurts people emotionally, psychologically, spiritually; it griefs the Holy Spirit of God; it debases the human being in us, decreases joy and love, and increases hate & resentment. Let us fast from looking down on others, speaking down on others, and thinking of ourselves as superior over others because vanity upon vanity, as Scripture says, all is vanity.
But we must not just fast from these iniquities, we also must fast into other ways of being for Scripture says, “Is this not the kind of fasting that I have chosen: to loosen the chains of injustice, break every yoke, and set the oppressed free; Is it not to share your food with the hungry, provide the poor wanderer with shelter, and clothe the naked?” (Isaiah 58:6-11). Therefore, let us reach out and touch humanity with compassion, empathy, and love. Let us stand up for what is right, for what is just, for what is fair, and for what is noble. Let our words bless rather than curse, build rather than castigate, uplift rather than denigrate, foster rather than fester, encourage rather than discourage, comfort rather than discomfort, appreciate rather than deprecate, acknowledge rather than despise, and promote rather than slander. Let our eyes see the best; our words edify the soul; our hearts forgive the worst; our minds forget the bad, and our spirits celebrate that which is good. Let us create time to celebrate ourselves as family, as couples, as individuals. Let us be more grateful and thankful for what we have, no matter how small. Let us live in such a way as to have joy and peace reign supreme in our hearts by not letting anyone drag us into endless and useless arguments, fights, quarrels, negativity, and debasement. Let us be reconciled with God, with our neighbor, and with the self. Let us let go, let God, and get going. Life is just too short to do it any other way.