March 19 – Fourth Sunday of Lent


As a Seminarian, I consider the Lenten period a great opportunity to show my appreciation for Christ’s sacrifice and show that He did not die in vain.  The Lenten period allows us Christians to grow closer to God, to the church and our families.

Every Lenten period, I ask myself a question:  What strength did we receive during baptism? My first thought is the baptismal font: Whenever I pass near the baptismal font, I profess that were it not for the font, I would not be the way I am.  Had I not been washed and thus placed on the way to Eternal Salvation, I would not be a Christian or even a Seminarian.  Each year the Church uses this Lenten period to take us back to the baptismal font.  This is to remind us from where our lives in Christ started.  Therefore, during Lent we are invited to recall our relationship with Christ.  We are reminded how to walk with God.

We use the Lenten period to work on our sinful desires and do all we can to be closer to God.  During Lent, the main purpose of fasting in my view, is to deny or deprive ourselves of something tasty or delicious.  This cultivates in us the self-control that is necessary for overcoming sinful tendencies.  In short, as Christians, we deprive ourselves of something pleasurable so as to attune ourselves and bring our bodily senses under control for the sake of higher spiritual good.  This is the idea of fasting from meat! It is not a time to relish the best fish or go for costly sea foods! We should deny ourselves something we value (meat, beer, wine, sodas, sweets, lifestyles) and provide for others what they value, as a sign of love.  For fasting to be Salvific, it must hurt! The church also teaches us to set aside the proceeds from our fasting and give them out to the most vulnerable.  Look into your wardrobe and shoe rack and see what you can share with the less fortunate.

As we journey closer to God, let us thank God for granting us this Lenten period as a chance to repent and renew our lives.  May God help us as a community of OLM to align our choices to His Word through His Divine Grace.  Amen.