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OUR JOURNEY THROUGH LENT – A CALL TO HOPE

By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican

 

Lent has traditionally been a time to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus, to fast and to change one’s life direction as needed. It was also a time to do good works to bring healing and hope to our world.  The forty days before Easter are a symbol of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness before his crucifixion. In addition to going deeper within, it can also be a time to live and preach hope, especially in times of darkness and despair which many people experience in our time. The basis of our hope is the great love God shows for us at all times, especially through the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus for our salvation.

 

 During Lent, we are invited to search deeply within our minds and hearts and to look at our own hopes for our own lives and for our world. People often ask:  “ How can we have hope in times like these?” If we watch TV or read the daily paper, there are endless stories of abuse and neglect, of children dying of hunger and disease, threats of more wars, and great lack of respect in civil discourse and shattered hopes and dreams for many families. Often out of chaos, we see people reaching out in care and compassion, working to change systems and structures that dehumanize and sharing their resources with those most in need. We can rely on God’s promise to redeem us from all our iniquities and to never let us walk alone. We know that where God is, there can always be hope. Lent can be a time when we listen more deeply to hear and respond to the voice of God within and around us. Jesus prayed in his deepest agony and it gave him strength to continue the journey.

 

How can we promote and preach hope?

 

We can do this by believing that even in the darkest times, God’s hand will always hold and support us. It is believing that there is something new, something more behind the dark cloud that will bring sunshine to our lives. Hope is in the waiting and expecting. We never give up even when there seems to be no visible sign that things could or will be better. IS. 43: 2 tells us “When you pass through waters, they will not swallow you up.  When you go through rivers, they will not sweep over you. …..’ As we journey with Jesus, we all experience life’s challenges. We have the power of the Spirit and are sent to reflect God’s healing, forgiveness and hope to all we meet. We reflect on God’s dream for our own lives and for our world, and see how we can contribute to making that dream a reality. No matter what the challenges, nothing is impossible with the power and grace of God.

 

I often think of a conversation with a faith-filled African -American woman who called me recently. She has experienced much pain and suffering in her life. She said: “I wake up every morning and give thanks to God for whatever the day will bring. I know that God’s outcome will be the best outcome. I walk through the day with confidence, trust and hope.” She is a witness to living a hope-filled life.

 

During Lent, let us open our minds and hearts to the transforming power of God’s presence and grace. We try to empty ourselves of our self-righteousness and pride and see how we can respond to God’s call in new ways by place ourselves in God’s hands. Through God’s transforming power we will bring deep hope into our own lives and our world. Loving God, may we be your partners in hope this Lent and always.

 


Preaching Essay Archive

Just click on an Essay title below to read it.
(The latest submissions are listed first.)

• PRAYER OF PREACHERS •
• CALLED TO NAME •
• Two Essays on the New Evangelization •
• STRENGTHEN OUR HOPE TO REPAIR A BROKEN WORLD •
• A New Year •
• “Lumen Fidei” – the Call and the Challenge •
• The Importance of Inter-Religious Sharing •
• THE PROMISE OF EASTER –“ THAT ALL MAY HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT IN ABUNDANCE.” •
• Preaching Lent - Year C •
• A New Year •
• Preaching Luke •
• Fan Into Flame •
• Working for Peace •
• PREPARING TO CELEBRATE  THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL •
• CHOOSING HOPE IN TIMES OF DARKNESS AND CHALLENGE •
• Called To Continue Our Journey As Peacemakers •
• Pentecost •
• IMAGINING A RE-EVANGELIZED CHURCH •
• What is the "New Evangelization"? •
• Easter: A Call To Renew Our Faith •
• The Journey Through Lent •
• Welcoming the Stranger •
• Reaching Youth Today •
• Preaching Mark •
• Are We Living In Pentecost Times? •
• Preaching the Gospel of Matthew •
• A New Year - A Time To Choose •
• Living With Gratitude and Hope •
• The Need To Reclaim And Live With Moral Courage •
• Grieving Our Losses •
• Reflection - Psalm 127 •
• Living In the Power Of the Resurrection •
• Preaching Lent •
• Garth Stanton: I Wonder... •

Blessings on your preaching.


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