Today the Holy Roman Catholic Church begins a new period of lent, that beautiful season when Holy Mother Church challenges the faithful to take stock of their lives and to repent.
For those of us who will go to Holy Mass today, we will hear the priest or celebrant say to us as they sign the cross on our foreheads with ash, ‘remember man you are dust and to dust you shall return’. This is a reminder to us all of the reality that our existence in our human state will not last forever, but that our time here on this earth is very limited; some may live 100 years, some 70, some 40. Unfortunately here in Trinidad and Tobago, many are dying quite young often due to the lifestyle they choose. We can only pray that it was not too late for them at their final hour.
It is also a reminder to us all that when our time here on earth is done, our souls will continue on into eternity – either in Heaven or in hell. Since we do not know the day nor the hour when our time on earth will come to an end, we should always be in a state of constant preparedness. That is one of the main disciplines that the holy season of Lent teaches us.
God of all creation, who made us all and calls each of us by name, does not desire that anyone of us be lost. His desire is that all be saved. That is why He sent His Son into the world to be the perfect, spotless Lamb of God who takes upon Himself the sins of the whole world. It is this same God of all creation who calls, who pleads, who cries out to us through the Prophet Joel, “Come back to me with all your heart! I will not hold your sins against you. Repent of your sins, be sincere in your ways. Seek me with all your hearts. Come back to me!” He shouts, pleads with us, “No! Don’t go there my child. That’s is not good for you! It will destroy you! Come back to me my son. Come back to me my daughter. Come back to me my beloved let me bandage your wounds. Let me take care of you. Come back to me for I am the way you seek! I am the truth you need! I am the life you long for! Come back to me my child! Come back!”
Sister, brother, remember it is the Spirit of the Living God that gives life – not the spirit of alcohol or drugs or anything like that. The flesh and the things of this world have nothing to offer. You know this is true don’t you? How many times have you tried drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, the many night clubs, countless partying, moving from one relationship to another, and all the other things you have tried; only to end up feeling more empty and desolate on the inside than ever before. Isn’t it time you tried God? He loves you. He truly loves you. He’s calling out to you. He is pleading with you. He waits patiently for you. Arise from this place and return to the Lover of your soul.