“Happy is he who does not have sadness in his mind, and who has not fallen away from his hope.” -Sirach 14:2
Finding Hope in Christ
Lent is a time of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving toward others. It is a time of sacrifice and charity. It is a time of getting to know Jesus even better than we currently know him. No matter where we are along the path of life, we can strive for a closer friendship with the Lord. The perception of Lent may seem downcast. However, Lent is a time of anticipation and obedience that leads to an even greater path. The path it leads to is the light of Christ and His Resurrection from the dead. We celebrate this mystery every year, but it remains a truly awesome fact in our lives and in all of history. God has wonderful things in store for us as we follow Jesus!
Sirach 14:2 says a lot if we take the time to ponder what it really means. Suffering and sadness is a part of life for all people. We can overcome this sadness through the hope of Jesus! Knowing this fact in our hearts will give us the strength to truly see the good even in difficult and situations. Our minds are quite powerful, and God can speak to us in our thoughts. We must be alert to his voice when we ponder in this way. When we pray to the Holy Spirit and see the spark of his light, we can be happy in all circumstances. We have great reason to be happy and positive every single day of our lives!
The words rejoice and joy are seen in Holy Scripture various times both in the New and Old Testaments. In spite of all the difficulties biblical characters had to deal with, their stories also offer all of us hope and happiness. We can rejoice always through Lent and into Easter and beyond! Smiling and love are not forbidden in Lent. Our sacrifice and love speak outwardly to a suffering world in need of the light of Jesus Christ and His Church. Let us live in this happiness today. We have much to be grateful for, and the best is yet to come as we walk along the path with God. We can look to the example of the saints of the Church, to Christ, his Holy Mother, and St. Joseph our protector.
Lord Jesus, help us to see the good in our lives and reflect it to all we meet. Help us to minister to others the hope and joy of living a life with you. For we know this path will lead to life eternal both now and forever in Heaven. Amen.