We’re now going more real into our spiritual preparations as it is already the Second Sunday of Lent. Have we already started purifying our hearts, observing fasting and abstinence, almsgiving, and prayer? Going by our age and experience, we should already be past starting these. However, we should continue to ask ourselves those questions, as it’s getting nearer now. In a few weeks, we’ll be going deeper into the redeeming Passion and Death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
During this Holy Season, there should be transformation in us, mentally, spiritually, physically. The Holy Mother Church is guiding us through this trek into the desert (or into the mountain, whatever you like more). In the Gospel, the journey to the mountain may have been arduous and tiring, Peter, James and John may have wondered why go there in the first place? What the heck, why bother? It is a test of patience and endurance. The disciples have the idea that Jesus is not a typical person; they think He is unusual. That’s why when they were asked to follow Jesus into the mountain, they followed. Similarly, we may also have asked, “Why a Lenten season?” Maybe time spent in Boracay is “much better” than spending it in Church.
This Lent, like all the previous ones we’ve been through, is a spiritual journey that will enable us to understand better its meaning and relevance. As Jesus may have said to Peter, James and John, “have patience, we’ll get there soon”, so it will be for us. We go like we are journeying up a mountain trail deep into the Sierra Madre or the majestic Mt. Apo. It is rugged, it is tough, the ascents are narrow and sharp. As the days continue, we keep fasting, praying, sacrificing and giving. Each time we fast, each time we abstain and sacrifice, each time we pray, each time we sacrifice and give more of ourselves, is a step up that mountain, bringing us closer to the Father.
In God’s grace and compassion, we will be blessed with a transformation as the culmination of all the preparations we’ve made. For all the difficulties and challenges in the journey, it is hoped that the commemoration of Lent aid us comprehend deeper the necessity of it all. Even though we’ve experienced several Lenten seasons already, we may still be having difficulty comprehending its meaning. We’re learning slowly, as evidenced by our stubbornness and inconsistencies in living the Gospel message.
Persevere. Never mind if the steps hurt. Never mind the various times that we’ve fallen. I know that as the Holy Week draws near, some of us may be tempted to give up all the sacrifices we’ve done seemingly failing in bringing us closer to intimacy with Jesus.
But don’t give up, be in it. Let Lent strengthen you. Embrace the challenges and eagerly await being transformed. In the end, all will make sense. There’s the Light waiting for us at the end of the journey and for some moments, we are allowed a small peek into it, as if to encourage us to hang on. Just as Peter, James and John experienced it many centuries ago.
Let us therefore soak ourselves into the meaning of the journey, and allow Jesus to draw us closer to Him. To transform us some more. Trusting that we can draw on His strength and power to overcome our frailties and weaknesses, so that on the last day, He will bring us to rise with Him.
‘A bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.’
(Mt. 17: 5)