“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst. ‘Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor. He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.”
~ St. Teresa of Calcutta
Perhaps one of the biggest paradoxes is that in weakness we find strength. However, we have to be strong enough to encounter weakness.
Jesus put it to us quite brilliantly when He gave us the Sermon on the Mount. That was all about the paradox of strength and weakness. I am sure that many of those who heard Jesus must have thought He had lost His mind. How could we be poor or lowly or lonely and be blessed? How could we be totally poor and suppressed and be blessed? How could we find blessing living in wretchedness?
Jesus knew that when His people were brought low that they finally quit depending upon themselves and turned back to God. And once they placed their faith and trust in God, they would be rewarded.
We spend our lives trying to be our own gods. We try to manipulate our lives so that we come out on top. We place ourselves and our needs over others. We become smug intellectually, materially, and spiritually.
Ah, Mother Teresa would tell us, that is the time to repent. Repent indifference. Repent hardness of heart. Repent callousness. Repent pride. Repent laciviousness. Repent, repent, repent.
That is what the Season of Lent is all about: a season that challenges us to look into the deep, dark recesses of our lives — actually, to go even deeper than that and to look into the deep, dark recesses of our souls — so that we can identify the things that need to change and the things that we need to discard.
We have heard, many times in our lives — generally from parents or teachers — “You are better than this.” The Season of Lent tells us the same thing: We can be better than what we are at the present moment. We can be more holy, more loving, more generous, more merciful, in short, more like God.
Do not be afraid to look within. God can help us move through our weakness to a deeper faith.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those whose weakness is so overwhelming that they have lost the motivation to continue in their journey.