February 2, 2014
It’s February already! Oh my!
This is the first weekend of February and February is a short month! Does it
really ever slow down? All the frenetic activity that accompanies the
preparation of the Advent and Christmas seasons is barely behind us. All this
activity seemed to move from one season to the next and now we are already in
preparation for the Lenten season. It’s never too early to begin to prepare for
our Lenten journey which begins this year with Ash Wednesday, March 5th.
It seems there is always more to read, more to study, and more to know. There
is, it seems, more to understand. A good place to start is with this weekend’s
proclamation of the Presentation of the Lord. As well, in this weekend’s first
reading, we are reminded to “Prepare the way of the Lord”.
The late Pope John
Paul II’s call and challenge for modern day Catholics to become “adolescent” or
even “adult” Catholics, really underscores the need for us to realize what our
discipleship is truly about in light of how quickly life passes. Pope Benedict
XVI asked us to be respectful and sensitive in the proclamation of the Gospel.
Our new Pope Francis stresses,
“It’s key that we Catholics, both clergy and laity,
go out to meet the people”. The Pope calls us to use our gifts and talents to
proclaim the Good News. Underneath all the reading, studying and
understanding is the simple fact that we are loved. We have a loving Creator
who bestows His love on all of us. We can be respectful of the differences that
are innate in our relationships when we base all we do on Love.
coming Lenten season, is in our human time, another opportunity, another chance
to begin again. It’s a time to move beyond ourselves and to be a greater
reflection of love in our world. As a human people we are always looking for a
chance to try again, start over, and begin anew. Some of us attempted to start
the New Year, a few weeks ago, by making resolutions that would improve our
lives. In all honesty, it is so simple. We are loved. We have opportunities,
new chances, and new beginnings every day. Our loving God never ceases to call
us to something better. This something better is the opportunity to begin again
to be better reflections of His love. Whether the opportunity is the beginning
of the liturgical year—Advent, or the beginning of the Secular New Year, or the
season of fasting, penance, and almsgiving—Lent, or just the beginning of a
brand new ordinary day; we have many opportunities to realize we are loved and
to seek our God. We can begin in a new way to reflect that love more perfectly.
It may very well be
that it never does slow down, what with all the demands placed on our time.
Yes, there is always something we could read study and learn. The challenge of
today’s gospel underscores Jesus’ ministry and the difficulties and resistance
one may encounter as they attempt to follow this Sunday’s readings. The need to
see beyond the moment and into the significance of what the moment can mean for
the future is indeed a challenge for most of us. The most important aspect of
life to truly understand is that, yes, we are loved and we are called to be
examples of love despite any difficulties we encounter. We can open ourselves
to the power of love at this moment in time and allow this love to change our
futures. This love is always available to us and we always have the chance to
reflect this love to one another as we live out the example of the Gospels in
our lives. It is just that simple—we are about
love and we are blessed when we are examples of this love!