This weekend we enter Holy Week. This could have been a long Lent for some of us, purposefully giving up what we enjoy, emptying ourselves to embrace the spirituality of the season. We cannot help ourselves casting half a glance at Easter and the days after. We are ready to jet off once again into the distractions, and temptations, of life. Lent is not a season-long ritual, but a reminder of who we are and who we can be, and a time to recalibrate our views and moral compass.
Easter, and mystagogy, is a purposeful season too. When we jump out of Lent without Easter, Lent can leave us stuck at the foot of the cross, half-thinking that suffering is part of the accord in being Christian. Suffering is simply part of life. A good Easter season help us to ‘see’ the Risen Christ in our midst, the living of our faith in the realities of life. A good Easter season draws us into the lived experience of the Resurrection.
But back of these final days of Lent. Last Sunday’s Gospel saw a group of men bringing a woman and standing her in public view condemning her for her sins. Jesus asked a question that should also probe our hearts, “If there is one of you who have not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. Something stirred in their hearts, for “when they heard this, they went away one by one”.
We too participate in this herd mentality even if we do not propose views. We participate when we are influenced by them. This is not all negative because the power of an Easter community can do wonders to our faith life too. Social media has been a powerful influencer. Technology and the internet are here to stay; they can take us away from a life of faith. Here is why we must be like the group of men in the gospel entering into the silence of self to discern. And walk away.
One of the ‘modern day’ development is that we have push confessions aside. This Lent, with the pandemic, may be too early for many to physically return to this sacrament. Like the group of men, we can go into an internal confession, and have that conversation with our God. Have modern day influences cause us to lose the sense of sin in many areas of our life?
Today we are all better at social skills; a smile can disguise the bearing of teeth ready to bite. We need to sort out our internal imperfections as we enter Holy Week to exit Lent and embrace Easter. We must confront how we truly feel, especially towards the other person. We have allowed prejudices to grow that can develop maliciously into unwarranted anger and even hatred. Our inner hidden views make us quick to condemn and throw stones at others. We say hurtful words even if they are in the silence of our heart. There are loads more. These are roots that can be self-destroying.
There is a lot happening inside us. Where there need to be they must be confessed, only then can Easter come in its full glory inside us. In these final days of Lent, we should not push aside our personal confessions. We must enter deep and have that discernment to walk away. We are all sinners. No one is throwing any stones at us.
For the 5th Sunday of Lent