“The time has come” by Fr John Campion SDB

“The time has come”                                                                              Reflection for 1st Sunday of lent

 

Lent is a sacred time where we have the opportunity to reflect who we are as Christians and take steps to renew our lives and make space for God. Jesus was empowered at Baptism in the Jordan and he then spent forty days in preparation for ministry and said yes to the Fathers plan for him despite many temptations to do the opposite. During Lent we try to say Yes to God’s plan for us, but the tempter wants us to do the opposite. Those struggles give us an opportunity to see ourselves as we are and where we are going? Jesus was offered power and fame and to avoid the cross of suffering. He said no to his own will and said yes to the Fathers plan even if it did mean giving his own life. We are baptised too and we are not spared the temptation to take the comfortable option but we have the consolation that Jesus won the battle. God was with him and he is with us too.

The time has come to renew our promise again to follow Jesus and let the reign of God take place. It is an invitation to transform our mind, heart and spirit, thorough an active commitment to forgive, be reconciled and care for the needy and have compassion for the lost. It is a time to assess our relationships with family, friends, work colleagues and all those we are in contact with. It is an opportunity to ask what positive contribution am I offering to other peoples lives and what am I throwing out so God can come in. It is also making space for what God wants of me? It is an invitation to fight the evil within us and around us and not to give up. Lent is also a time to change, to give up false ways and take on something positive and make space for a new relationship with the Lord.

Piri Thomas wrote a book called “Down these mean streets”. It describes his conversion from being a convict, a drug addict an attempted murderer to becoming an exemplary Christian. One night he was lying in his cell bunk in prison. Suddenly he realised the mess he had made of his life. He felt an overwhelming desire to pray. He was sharing his cell with another prisoner called Thin Kid. So he waited. After he thought the Thin Kid was asleep, he climbed out of his bunk, knelt down on the cold floor and prayed. He said: “I talked to him of all my wants and lacks, of my hopes and disappointments. I felt I could even cry …” After he finished his prayer, a small voice said, “Amen”. It was the Thin Kid. The two talked along time and then Piri climbed back into his bunk. He said good night Chico, he said. I’M thinking that God is always with us, it is just we aren’t with him.  This is a beautiful story where the time had come for change and what Jesus says, repent and believe the good news. Stay in the company of the one who loves us.

May we this Lent, change the ways we think, change our hearts about the gospel we ignore and change our habits of sin? Even if we fail, let’s begin again and say yes to the rule of God in our lives. May this Lent be a time of growth for all of us?