If there is one thing we can learn during our Great Lenten Journey, is that God will always be present among us. During the weeks of Great Lent our patience is challenged, our hunger is tested, and our endurance to maintain the faith is constantly confronted. Yet through all our difficulties during Great lent, God is always there.
As the Prophet Isaiah writes in today’s reading, “Thus says the Lord, In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people.” (You can read the entire passage below) There is a purpose to our communal life as Christians. God did not establish His Church for individual life experiences. We have been given as a covenant to the PEOPLE.
Great Lent is an opportunity, without being boastful, to allow our faith to inspire others. We were given “as a light to the nations,” not out of random pity but for salvation. Yes, the Christian life is a challenge, but when we endure that challenge with dignity and peace, we inspire others to join Christ for the journey. Think about a road trip to your favorite vacation spot. Do you complain about the journey, or share the joy that lies ahead making the car trip worth the effort?
During these final days of Great Lent, I invite you to remind yourself, God has given you as a light to others, and He has remained with you through the entire journey. Allow your joy for Christ to shine so that others will “come forth” and experience the joy that we know awaits us in the Resurrection.
Thus says the LORD: "I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you." Thus says the LORD: "In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages; saying to the prisoners, 'Come forth,' to those who are in darkness, 'Appear.' They shall feed along the ways, on all bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall smite them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them. – Isaiah 49.6-10