• tburnsfaith

Commit to making a difference

As we begin this Lent, we are in a very different place than we were at the beginning of Lent last year. It has been a difficult, stressful, and very sad year because of the COVID pandemic and more. Friends and family members have been sick with COVID and some have died. There is a significant increase in anxiety, depression, violence, and suicide due to of pandemic isolation. Many are struggling financially because of unemployment. We ended Lent and celebrated the Triduum and Easter virtually, unable to be together physically.

While we need to acknowledge the stresses, struggles, and sadness of this past year, we must also consider the goodness that has come from this time of trial. We’ve survived the “great toilet paper shortage.” Our earth is breathing a little easier with the reduction of exhaust in the air. We have a deeper sense of our global community, how we are all in this together.

Along with coping through the stresses and struggles of this past year, I’ve also experienced a deep soul renewal. I’ve made an intentional effort to spend more time in prayer, raising up to God intercessions for the people in my life, our global family, and our earth and spending more time silently contemplating God’s presence within and around me. My soul has been soothed by having more time to be outside enjoying God’s creation. I have noticed more, listened more, played more, prayed more.

As people are getting vaccinated, there is hope that the restrictions of the quarantine will be lifted. But what difference will this year make in our personal lives, our local community, and our global community? This is an opportunity for us to amend our former destructive ways of living and work together in hope for a renewal of our personal lives, society, and world.

I invite you to join me this Lent in reflecting on what we might do differently in this opportune time for renewal.

What will you do to be more intentional re-connect with family and friends?

What will you do differently to re-energize your relationship with God?

What will you do differently to re-engage living with care for God’s creation?

What will you differently to recognize and acknowledge Christ is every person you encounter?

What will you do differently to open yourself to renewal and transformation?

My prayer through Lent will be that we do not go back to the “normal” of our pre-pandemic lives and world. I pray that we will learn from the experiences of this past year and open our hearts and souls and lives to the renewal that can happen. I pray that as we heal from COVID-19, we will also heal from all of our brokenness and begin to live with a deeper sense of interconnectedness with all people, creation, and our God who loves and desires all good for us.

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