There is something greater here. Something greater than the wisdom of Solomon and something greater than the preaching of Jonah. Following the way of Jesus is a faith we are called to live daily. This is not a part-time vocation. We all have a unique gift in the dignity we have been conceived and born with. We have a unique way to express and live out our dignity as well. Unfortunately, what happens with most of us is that we are tempted, misdirected, distracted, and diverted as to what God would have us do and as a result we are often unplugged from the very source of our existence.
As Jesus taught, often in his parables, the kingdom of Heaven on earth starts small, like a mustard seed, like yeast, and develops slowly when nurtured. Lent is a good time to slow down, step back, take a retreat even while in the midst of our everyday activities. We just need to insert some dedicated time to God each day so as to better be able to acknowledge his presence in our activities.
If you are feeling a bit restless, on edge, or out of sync, I invite you to make some time to be still and breathe, this can be while in the shower, when you have some breakfast, a morning walk, or taking a sip of coffee or tea. During this time ask God for some guidance. We can ask him to help us see those areas that we need to repent from and let go of, those thoughts, words, and actions that keep us distracted, redirected, and off-kilter as to who God is calling us to be. We can then confess to him and receive his forgiveness and reconciliation.
God invites us to come to the silence to also be able to sit with our wounds and traumas. Many times we do not want to be still or quiet because there may be unresolved issues, hurts, and/or pain that we would rather not face. We may even believe in the lie that if we feel that we will become completely undone. God is present and waiting, inviting us to come to experience acceptance and love as we are, to feel safe to be vulnerable and honest and from this place of truth, begin with simple steps being to walk the path to our freedom.
Jesus said in today’s Gospel that, “There is something greater here.” Christianity is not a secret sect. We are called to share the joy, the forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation we experience from God with others, even with, as Jonah found out, our enemies. We are to look for opportunities to offer a smile, even from our eyes while wearing our masks, an encouraging word, to reach out to someone we have been meaning to connect with for a while, in person or far away, and/or someone that we may sense just needs a listening ear. We can also react less by asking for God’s patience to be more understanding. Just as we are hurting, so are so many others.
Lent can be a joyful time when we enter into the season with the intent to deepen our walk with the One who is wiser than Solomon and preached repentance and reconciliation. With our hearts and minds turned back and open to God, Lent will not so much be a drudgery to endure, but a joyful embrace of the opportunity for experiencing a change of mind such that we are more open to dialogue, forgiveness, healing, sharing the joy, reconciliation, and contributing to building up the kingdom of God one healing at a time!
Photo: Afternoon stillness, never know what the quiet will reveal in our depths.