“Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.”
It is hard to believe that lent begins four weeks from this Wednesday! This Sunday’s liturgy helps us move towards lent. As we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the readings use strong language of sacrifice and salvation. The temple, the place of sacrifice, forms the backdrop for today’s Gospel. The cross is at the heart of our faith. This feast marks a dramatic turn from the events we celebrated at Christmas. It shifts our attention to the cross of Jesus and the upcoming season of lent.
When the Feast of the Presentation was first observed in the East it was known as “The Encounter.” God is inviting us to encounter Him at new levels every day, but in a special way during the season of lenten renewal.
As Ash Wednesday (March 5) approaches, think about how God is inviting you to grow. What is the Holy Spirit whispering to your heart? How is God inviting you to deepen your relationship with Him? In what way can you encounter the Lord through our community of faith?
In the upcoming weeks, you will be presented with many invitations to renewal this lent. There are small group faith-sharing opportunities, large group events, opportunities for prayer and devotion, opportunities to give and serve and celebrate the sacraments. As a community, we will have ample opportunity to renew ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit this lent.
The invitations will be coming. How will you respond?
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood