We need to conform our lives to God’s ways if we are to belong with him in the fullness of life. By imitating God, we become ‘holy’.
Followers of Christ are often referred to as ‘Children of the Light’. They banish darkness by the way they live and do not need it to hide what they do. Our Lenten journey calls us to become aware of the darkness that still clings to us, that still suits some of our actions. We cannot pretend to ourselves that our secret faults are private and thus of no importance. On the contrary, even the most secret sin is never private. It affects us and our ability to be a witness of Christ to others. Our sinfulness affects not only ourselves and any obvious victims, but it also damages the whole of the Body of Christ, the Church. Only when the secret is exposed to the light do we realize how far-ranging the damage is.
Our sins may be petty, but are a burden for someone, if only ourselves. They dim the light of hope and compassion that we are meant, as a Church, to offer each other and the world.
In contrast to sin, we are to be a part of the light, living our Baptism by placing our gifts, our resources, our very selves at God’s service in and through the Church. What are a few of the small, but regular, ways in which you deliberately choose to ‘be in the light’? Perhaps in the ways you forestall – in yourself or others – the build-up of anger, pride, resentment? Or in acting with respectful kindness, or truthfulness or encouragement?
We usually ‘give up’ something in Lent to make more room for God and our neighbour, but this year it may take on a different meaning or form. Yet it comes to the same thing as always. First, ‘give up sin’. Second, ask, “How can I move to let my life be more centered on God than on me?”
Let us leave behind us the old deeds of darkness and live in freedom, letting the hope and love of Jesus Christ shine through us. And we will be ready for the Kingdom.