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Lent 2011

Lent—An Invitation to Grow Closer to Christ

Day 24

By Home Missioner Enock Gustave, New York, N.Y.

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

—Ephesians 4:25-32

Lent is an important season in my life. It helps shed light on what I think about Jesus Christ, his sacrifice on Calvary for the sins of humanity, the end of his earthly ministry, the tragedy that led to his death, and his supreme anguish on the cross. Lent is also an invitation to live Jesus' principles for 40 days and beyond.

Lent is a time of new life and fresh beginnings.

The period of Lent boosters my call for mission, my devotion as a new home missioner and leads me to reflect on the challenge that Easter presents to the church, its members and the Christian community worldwide.

As a young man in Haiti my mother and father, every Lent season, cultured me and my siblings to the important meaning of the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ at the cross for our salvation. They have brought to our understanding that Lent is a time of new life and fresh beginnings. They have enlightened that fasting and meditating on our weaknesses during the 40 days of Lent will help us grasp the intense significance of the crucifixion and give us a deep and powerful longing for the resurrection.

During my upbringing I witnessed that a couple of days of fasting and meditating during the Lenten season not only opened new windows on my spiritual life, allowed fresh air to burst in my body and brought intense joy on Easter Sunday, it also helped me become a better person, and it changed me completely.

My moments of fasting and meditation during Lent also help me experience my simple part in the passion and suffering of Jesus. He took my place on the cross. He went alone to be punished for my sins. He was separated from his Father. He was deserted by his friends and crucified on the cross in order to give me everlasting life.

During Lent, I deprive my body of the pleasure of familiar comforts to learn more about my weaknesses, my needs and my desires. The season helps reshape my Christian identity, increase my commitment to the church and Jesus' free and love-born gift for me and humanity.

Prayer

Christ Jesus, let my discipline this Lent season bring me closer to you and increase my capacity for joy. Amen.

Last Updated: 04/15/2014
 
 

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