Monday, February 29, 2016

Life is Now

Lent is all about getting our priorities straight. First things first. And our first priority is our relationship or life with God, and our relationships with one another.

Renewing our Spiritual Life
In the Gospel according to Luke, Jesus deals with the question of evil: why do bad things happen to good people? Evil is ultimately a mystery. And then Jesus speaks about a fig tree. The point of the parable is this: yes, God is patient, but one day God will hold us accountable for our lives, our attitudes and behaviors.

Jesus urges us to repent NOW, to turn to a God-centered/other-centered life.

Lent is a time to ask ourselves: who are we? What are we living for? What is our purpose in life? And how integrate these questions into our daily lives here and now?

So often people live in the future, not in the present. Some imagine: My life will begin when…I get a new job, when I get my degree, when I rebuild my home, when my relative gets well, when my retirement is funded.

Life will begin in the future?

Naomi Levy, in her book Hope Will find You, writes that while caring for her critically ill daughter, she wondered when could she realize the dreams and goals she had for herself. She wrote:

“Then something snapped inside my soul: This IS my future: the present, the here and now. I’d been walking around thinking, this isn’t my life; my life is coming; it’s just around the bend.”

She thought of all the people she knew who were chanting that same line. She realized, “we were all caught in the same lie. We were fooling ourselves into thinking our lives hadn’t begun. But all of us were people who had to learn to LIVE inside the imperfect lives we have.”

Today, Jesus urges us to live our everyday lives to the fullest, to live each day as though it’s our last day. This Lenten season is a time for finding our way out of our winters of negativity, our deserts of self-absorption, our wildernesses of disappointments, images that weave in and out of Lent.

These days before Easter are a time for deciding what we believe truly matters in life. And then acting on our beliefs today. For the only thing we can count on is today. We can’t do anything about yesterday and we don’t know about tomorrow.

Our Christian faith proclaims that life has meaning, that there is indeed an all-good, compassionate and merciful God who seeks us out in our everyday experiences.

And we can participate in God’s life by living a life of regular prayer, by fasting from attitudes and behaviors that jeopardize our relationship with God and with one another, and by living a life of generous service to one another. Try not to live a life of regrets.

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