Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
April 9th, 2011
Patrick Borchers

Academic Affairs
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent
[249] Jeremiah 11:18-20
Psalm 7:2-3, 9bc-10, 11-12
John 7:40-53

Some years I felt like I “failed” Lent.  I used to treat it like a required course that I didn’t really want to take but needed to graduate.  Rather than really participating in it, I would – in a metaphorical sense – sit in the back of the class, not say much, turn in as much homework as I needed to get by and wait for it to end.  This, I can assure you, is not the way to approach Lent.  Those years I would have been better off just ignoring it than going through the motions.  Like the Pharisees in today’s Gospel, I was trying to adhere to the letter of the law without so much as giving a thought to its spirit.

I have tried to sort through my memories as to why I used to think of Lent this way.  I suppose part of it was that as a child I associated it only with “giving up” things and the anticipation of the fun of hunting for Easter eggs when that joyous day rolled around.

What finally snapped me out of it was a conversation with a Jesuit friend of mine here at Creighton who pointed out to me that Lent is actually a word for “Spring.”  As I pondered that fact, it finally occurred to me that I had been doing Lent all wrong.  Of course abstaining from something is a good thing, but only if it really helps our spirits “spring” into Easter.  The long slow rise of my spirit from Ash Wednesday to Easter is part of my re-growth process each year.  Like the new green shoots appearing on plants in early spring, Lent is a sort of process of pruning and re-growth.  What I really need to give up are the things that push me away from God.  So even if we get a late start on Lent, there’s still a chance to turn in our late “homework” (as I used to think of it) and begin again.  It’s never too early, and it’s never too late.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail

Online Ministries Home Page | Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook