A simple point to ‘raise up’ on this First Friday of the Lenten Season is that we are in this together. When that ‘bite’ of Lenten sacrifice gets difficult, or ‘tempts’ you to ‘give in’ and ‘give up’ on that particular practice, know that your Lenten journey joins you to the universal Church. You are not alone.
It is more than uplifting to realize that billions of Catholics and Christians are making these Lenten offerings together. Our sacrifices are meant to join us in many ways. Our offerings are meant to ‘open our hearts’ to realize the sufferings of many, whose suffering is not a matter of ‘choice’, but of life circumstance, and is often something they have no means to alleviate on their own.
Our Lenten journey is meant to lead us to greater charity and solidarity to reach out and assist others, even if the only means we possess to do so is the sacrifice we freely take on during Lent. When we join our ‘sacrifice’ to the Cross of Christ, it then bears great fruit.
Christ’s crucifixion is of great significance. It certainly speaks of suffering, but speaks even more eloquently of Great Love. The cross of Christ serves as a ‘compass’ reminding us that Christ’s suffering and ‘gift of self’ is the great work of the Father, who created all things, now re-creating them in Christ. Every person, from north and south, east and west, is included in this salvific work of Christ. Every person, from beginning of time to the end, has a participation in Christ’s redeeming love.
Christ has already united us to Himself. His great work of love and redemption is the work of gathering the lost into the one ‘humanity’, into the one family of God. You are indeed, not alone. We are in Christ, and He is in us. We make this lenten journey in good company!