In Pope Francis’ Message for Lent in 2019, he focused on God’s creation and how it is connected to our celebration of Lent. It is important to recall our mistreatment of creation and how we can help renew it.
Easter reminds us that Jesus enters into our lives and challenges us to stand up for others, especially the most vulnerable amongst us. Additionally, we are invited with an ecological consciousness to stand up for the entire creation.
Creation too is “expectant,” awaiting that final resurrection. You and I are invited to experience that deep in our hearts. Lent invites us to yearn from the depths of the heart a new life for us, for our loved ones and for the whole world. The letter of Pope Francis invites us to delve into the great themes of Lent from this perspective.
“Fasting, that is, learning to change our attitude towards others and all of creation, turning away from the temptation to ‘devour’ everything to satisfy our voracity and being ready to suffer for love, which can fill the emptiness of our hearts.
Prayer, which teaches us to abandon idolatry and the self-sufficiency of our ego, and to acknowledge our need of the Lord and his mercy.
Almsgiving, whereby we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us. And thus to rediscover the joy of God’s plan for creation and for each of us, which is to love him, our brothers and sisters, and the entire world, and to find in this love our true happiness.”
Hopefully this Lent is for you and me, a time to grow in these dimensions. With a clear awareness that we will be renewed and that Easter will bring us deep joy.
Ignacio Rey Nores, SJ
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Montevideo – Uruguay)