The Joy of Lent

I am going to suggest something that might seem impossible:  the joy of Lent.

Lent is usually the chief penitential season of the Church.  It recalls the journey to the Cross, literally week-by-week, as if we were reading a chapter book and had the opportunity to read about and think about all the things that lead Jesus to that unimaginable destiny.

We know the ending already, and still, sometimes it comes as a surprise.  Did it have to go the way it did? Couldn’t some adjustments have been made to save the situation, to have a different outcome?

All are fair questions.

That’s where the ‘joy’ comes in, in finding out.  There is satisfaction that comes from wrestling with some of the largest issues of our faith: trust, fear, truth, sin, salvation.  There is also profound joy in knowing that we are not alone, that we don’t go it alone: we accompany Jesus along the way, as he is part of our journey as well.

There’s help along the way.  Resources and events that help us answer or even go deeper in our questioning.  You can sign up for daily meditations from the diocese or from Forward Day by Day.  You can pick up a ‘Lent in a Bag’ kit that will have a Scripture study guide and some suggestions for meditations.  You can take up the idea of a mite box or a reverse Lenten calendar to help you be mindful of the needs of others as you make your way.  There will be weekly soup and …… prayer and discussion.

Joy isn’t usually associated with Lent, but you might enjoy it anyway


Here’s another ‘joyful’ way to appreciate Lent

Jesus invites us to a way of celebration,
meeting and feasting with the humble and poor.
Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus beckons us to a way of risk, 
letting go of our security. 
Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus challenges us to listen to the voices
of those who have nothing to lose. 
Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus points us to a way of self-giving, 
where power and status are overturned. 
Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus calls us to follow the way of the cross, 
where despair is transformed by the promise of new life. 
Let us walk his way with joy.

-Jan Berry





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s