|Blog by Margaret Uche|
As Lent approaches I have been reflecting on what is God inviting me to change that can help me into the season with a sense of purpose and opportunity to grow in my relationship with God. I know Lent is a time of prayer, penances, and sacrifices.
How do I open my mind and heart to carry my cross and follow Jesus this Lent?
I was reminded of Pope John Paul 11 words in his book Agenda for the Third Millennium where he said Christ suffering and cross is a message of salvation and light to all. I learned that suffering is Good News because I can be transformed by it. It is through Christ suffering that I can obtain hope and it gives meaning to all human suffering because if I share in Christ suffering I can also look forward to sharing in his resurrection. “If then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” (Roman 6:8).
This semester at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate, we are discussing the book written by Fr. Paul Murray called The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality.
I learned that Father Dominic and his early Friars preached the truth and preached it by Joy. His face was always radiant with Joy except when he was moved by compassion for his neighbor in trouble. I learned that their life was far from being easy or full of good times. They faced all kinds of suffering in their work of preaching the Good News, sacrifices, and following in Jesus footsteps. They believed and trusted in Divine Providence and were able to persevere through these things and bore it with patience.
In the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew (5:1-12), Jesus reminds us of the blessings and reward for those who persevered through difficult times. I am called to bear all suffering with Joy and rejoicing because Jesus alone can deliver me from my difficulties and can give internal life if I remain faithful and persevere to the end.
What is Jesus inviting you to change this Lent that will help deepen your relationship with him? How might it shine the glory of God for others?