We are now in our final stretch of Lent which is a relief because, personally, I find Lent difficult. I find the fasting hard, but I came across a quotation from the ‘Magnificat’ which I found encouraging.
Fasting is a form of self deprivation of and a longing for the food we really need. We fast in order to seek Him day after day, the better to know His ways. We fast to make space for Christ, so that He may fill our emptiness with His redeeming presence.
I am also aware of my own sinfulness and my failures in the small things in daily life. The line in the first reading speaks to me when God said to Samuel ‘Man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart’. The Lord sees the desire in my heart to do good and not my failures. Jesus fell three times under His cross on the way to Calvary, but he got up each time. So after each time I fall and give into temptation I ask for His hand to help me up so I can start again. A Benedictine nun said, inthe last book she wrote before she died, that ‘In the 40 days of lent, even if you try and fail for the 39 days of lent there is still the 40th day to begin again’.
The Lord likes to see our little efforts like the blind man in the Gospel. Jesus could have cured the man, but He made a paste and told him to ‘go and wash’ in the pool of Siloam. ‘I washed and I can see’, is mentioned twice in the Gospel. Repentance is a very important part of our Lenten journey – and is linked to Washing of Baptism, which is the washing away of our sins, which brings us back in to the light, making us children of God. Our little acts and our fasting shows our repentance, calls down God’s grace and brings us back into the light as it says in the second reading by St Paul.
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