Some thoughts about Lent

Dear Families,

What is Lent good for? ...

God has given us a great and comforting gift. ... But it's easy to forget what God has done for us. We forget that it was because of our wrong that Jesus was punished. We can add to our wrongs when we try to make ourselves happy by eating lots of candy or junk food, by buying lots of toys or watching too much TV. We fill up with all sorts of things, always hoping that they will make us happy. We may be happy in the moment, but that kind of happiness doesn't last very long. We just end up wanting more. We are never satisfied by these things.

During Lent, many people try to stop filling up with all these other things. Instead, we try to make room for God again. When we do this, we feel nearer to God.

Some ways to remember what God did

Decide with an adult what you can do to make room for God. Giving up some of our comforts also helps us understand how much Jesus gave up for us. Try to give up something each week. You could have a desert-free day, or a desert-free week! How about going TV-free? If you give up desert, or video games, or anything that costs money, think about taking the money your family saves, and using it to help someone who has less than you. Can you think of other things you can give up? Can you think of ways to help those who are often hungry, or who are less comfortable?

Now, fill up with something good. Spend some time learning about the days before Jesus died: read the stories about Jesus' last week in your Bible. Imagine what it would have been like to be with him at that time. Do the people who were with Jesus help him? Do they understand what is happening? Right before Jesus was arrested he was very sad and needed to pray, but the friends he brought with him fell asleep. Would you have been able to stay awake?

Hope

But as you remember the reasons Jesus died don't forget the most important thing ... Easter! Remember that Jesus was not beaten by death. Jesus has won a great victory! He is the only one that could. He is the only one strong enough to overpower death. That's why God chose him to save us.

Remember, because of what Jesus did, we don't have to be afraid, and we never have to be apart from God. Because of Easter, we have hope, and our hearts can be at rest in the presence of God!

God Bless You,

Fr. Valentine