Last year, Ash Wednesday occurred on February 26th. We marked our heads with ashes before we covered our faces with masks. Three days later, the first known Covid-related death was recorded in the United States. As the questions were raised and fear grew, the invisible virus soon made us realize that Lent, and life, was going to be very different.

Almost a year later, we find ourselves with almost 500,000 dead Americans. There are millions who are unemployed, hungry, lonely, mourning, angry, and lost. So many are wounded, tired, and grasping to whatever hope is left after a year of isolation, cancellations, and heartache.

This year, many of us are stumbling into our Lenten journey.

Perhaps Lent arrives at the perfect time. Might we allow Lent to be one of rest and transformation.

Recall Jesus and His 40-day journey in the desert. It was this time of isolation where He not only faced and overcame temptation, He prepared to return to civilization as a teacher and healer. His 40-day’s alone with God was one of spiritual nourishment and peace.

We are invited into this same experience. When Easter arrives on April 4th (for Catholics) and when the pandemic loses its lethal punch sometime this year or next, how will you be transformed?

Give yourself this gift of Lent to reconnect with God and with your true self. We need it, now more than ever before.

At the same time, hear the cries of those in need these days. The invitation to serve remains.

How will you be like the angels who ministered to Jesus in the desert? How will you heal others now-by your service, prayers, and sharing of gifts and resources?

Like Martha and Mary, find the balance to serve and to listen to God.

We might be stumbling into Lent, yet we find our loving God waiting for us once again to transform our hearts so we can transform the lives of others.

A blessed Lenten journey to all and remember, be kind to yourself- these are not easy times. Prayers for all!

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