Our reading this weekend from Romans begins, through one man sin entered the world. Our first reading from Genesis gives us the story of Adam and Eve in the garden and the “most cunning” of all the animals tricking them into disobeying God’s command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
Before they disobeyed God, they were perfectly happy and at peace. Afterwards, they began blaming others (Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed Eve); they experienced shame (they realized that they were naked); and they were alienated from God and each other. We see further effects of their sin in Cain’s jealousy, which led him to murder his brother.
These stories are good reflections for the beginning of Lent. God wants us to be happy, God wants us to be at peace with all, God wants the best for us. But we ourselves mess it up by the way we act and treat others, bringing shame, blame, and alienation into our lives.
Lent is a time to reflect and change for the better. God does not want us to be alienated from Him or others. God does not want us to live in shame. If we turn to Him, we will find his forgiveness is there waiting for us, wiping out our guilt and shame. His grace is there to help us improve our lives and do better in the future.
I hope we will all take advantage of this special season the Church gives us, so that when we celebrate Easter we will be united with God and others, free of guilt and shame.
There are several opportunities for spiritual growth being offered here at Pius (see bulletin or website for information about reflections, prayer workshops, and bible study). Our Lenten communal reconciliation service will be held on Tuesday evening, March 28th, at 7:00pm, an opportunity to allow God’s forgiveness to wash away shame and guilt.
I invite you to reflect on one thing that you would like to be different in your life on Holy Saturday evening, as we celebrate the Resurrection. What can you do as we go through Lent to make sure it happens? And let us support each other in prayer, as we struggle to grow.
Church sign of the week: When you are hanging on by a thread, make sure it is by the hem of His garment.
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