WELCOME TO THE
HOLY SEASON OF LENT 2011
Now, What Are You Going To Do About It?
How difficult is it for us to be honest about our own sinfulness?
Hey, I’m not a sinner! You’re not a sinner, either! No one sins anymore, right?
There are no sins anymore, right?
- No one sins anymore by choosing to steal -- they simply find something.
- No one sins anymore by choosing to lie -- they simply misrepresent the facts.
- No one sins anymore by choosing to commit adultery -- they simply hook up or fool around.
- No one sins anymore by choosing to not attend Mass every Sunday, and to not pray at least three times during a day -- they simply are too busy and too tired.
- No one sins anymore by choosing to make -- text messaging, web surfing, phone calls, emails, blogging, Tweeting, iPods, TV, video games, money, clothing, shoes, jewelry, automobiles, sleeping, ball games, food, sex, booze, drugs, shopping, sex, pornography, or working-out -- into false idols which we strategically place so that these idols block out God from our view, our minds, our hearts and memories.
All of the denials of sinfulness above (and more not mentioned here) represent how we achieve our selfish, narcissistic aims by craftily and deceitfully trying to conceal the ugly, evil reality of our egos, selfishness, and sins.
- If we close our eyes to the sins in our lives, we will not see ourselves as sinners.
- And if we will not see ourselves as sinners, then we will not feel a personal need for Jesus Christ. Because, He came not for the self-righteous, but for sinners!
- So, if I am not sinful, I do not need Christ.
- The First Letter of Saint John [1:8-10] tells us: "If we say, 'We are without sin,' we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. ...If we say, 'We have not sinned,' we make God a liar, and His word is not in us."
May Our Lord Jesus Christ help us to resist the temptation to deny that we ARE sinners.
Every year on Ash Wednesday, we Catholics have our foreheads marked with Holy Ashes. We do this for two reasons.
- First, ashes are a symbol of repentance. Ashes symbolize that we are sorry for our sins and will do penance to make up for them during Lent -- and no longer commit them in the future.
- Second, Ashes are a symbol of our mortality. They remind us that we will die and have to give an account of our lives to God.
To accept Holy Ashes on the forehead presupposes that we are firmly determined to begin and to carry through to completion, some form of personal penance for our sins – that we are determined to renew our lives in Christ and in His Church, and stay renewed.
The saddest of all sad things would be to come to the end of forty days of Lent without having done one concrete thing to end our sinning, or express our sorrow for our sins.
So, welcome to Lent 2011.
Now, what are you going to do about it?