Happy Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday!
It’s the last day of Ordinary Time before Lent begins, and I hope that doesn’t make you break out in a sweat.
If it does, maybe it’s because you’re still not sure what God has planned for you in this season. Maybe you’re still not sure what you’re going to give up or what shape your prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is going to take.
It’s okay. Really.
Sometimes we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make this the Best Lent Ever. To fill in all the pages of our journals. To persevere in some practice we haven’t been able to sustain before. To confront our relationships with food and exercise … and maybe hope to fit into our Easter dresses a little bit better forty days from now.
These things are our concerns, but they are not God’s.
Tomorrow at Mass, many of us will hear the words, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” This is, of course, what this time of year is all about: repentance, penance, faith. But I’d suggest that the words of John the Baptist are also very relevant during Lent, especially in twenty-first century American culture, where the philosophy of “you do you” too often reigns:
“He must increase, I must decrease.”
This time is not only about our giving things up. It’s about making space for Jesus to fill in. It’s about clearing a path through the noise and clutter of our interior lives for our Savior to take up His rightful place in our hearts.
If you don’t have a plan for Lent yet, don’t panic. God has a plan for you. Give Him your “yes,” your “fiat,” and don’t be afraid of what He might ask of you.
He loves you more than you know.
Copyright 2020 Lindsay Schlegel