Friday 19 February 2016
Ezekiel 18: 21-28; Psalm 129 (130) and Mat 5:20-26
When we started with the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, we embarked on a special journey. In any long journey that one undertakes there is a lot of preparation and making certain that the suitcase contains what is essential for one to use while on the journey. The suitcase we need for Lent should contain prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These great pillars of Lenten help us tremendously in looking into our lives and empower us to respond to the following questions. What is it in our suitcases during the season of Lent needs to be looked at and discarded? Are there things we simply carry in our suitcases out of habit simply because we are on a journey?
The prophet Ezekiel is very clear about what needs to be discarded before one could live. There is need to let go of wickedness. Our Lord in the Gospel episode speaks of the importance of having deeper virtue. He invites us to break the chain of hatred, anger, and undermining others. Sometimes the lower impulses can rule our lives. It is only when we have been able to discard these practices that our journey will be fruitful at the end.
When we are rooted in prayer during this season of Lent we make it possible for ourselves to have the confidence to trust in the Lord and we have the strength to let go what we do not need for our journey.
The practice of fasting enables us to let go of what we have accumulated along the way that can make us feel we are self-sufficient. We can become prisoners of the fashion, the best food and drinks. We accumulate so much in such a way that we are unable to make a distinction between what we need and what we want.
The act of almsgiving help us to identity with those who do not have. The real challenge is to get rid of the undesirable desires and attachments to all that is not necessary for our journey. In a word during this season of Lent we are invited to discard whatever we possess that can stand in our way regarding how we respond to our God and to each other.
The prophet says if we renounce all our sins, we shall live.
- In my suitcase: What are the things that I have accumulated over some time that have made me egoistical and unable to have a broad vision?
- During this season of Lent I need to make some time to take stock of what I possess in my heart that stifles my growth as a child of God.
- What is my own contribution in the fight against poverty and ignorance in my immediate surroundings?
Lord of mercy, I offer you all that I possess. Enable me to be a generous person. Give me the strength to let go all that I do not need in my journey to you.
+Bishop Abel Gabuza
Diocese of Kimberley