“You are dust, and to dust you shall return” is a common Lenten phrase we hear at the beginning of Lent, particularly on Ash Wednesday. It can seem dreary, to think about how life is short, but during our preparation at HNMCS this year, we focused on the freedom, joy and hope that this truth can bring to our lives.
On Ash Wednesday, our school community participated in a ‘hybrid’ liturgy, where students of Social Justice Council and Liturgical Choir gathered in the chapel with Chaplains Ms. Sullivan and Ms. DiMauro, and led the rest of the students and staff over Google Meet. They shared readings from the Bible and sang to remind all of us of the Good News that Jesus’ death and resurrection, the glory of Easter, is coming.
Ms. Sullivan discussed the purpose of Lent, and how it connects to our overall school spiritual theme this year of ‘Arise.’ Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Entering into each of these makes us more like Jesus. Yes, fasting this year may feel difficult or even redundant, especially with how much we have been deprived of during this pandemic. But, in reality it is a time of spiritual spring cleaning. A time to remember that spring is coming, and that Jesus is also coming to do something amazing this Easter. We rise to do what needs to be done to be more like Jesus. We ‘rise’ from the ashes of the things that make us feel unmotivated and unable to move forward. Perhaps we have something we’ve been meaning to change about ourselves for a while..Lent is the time to give it a try. Who knew that Lent, which literally means ‘slow,’ is really a call to make small gradual changes having Jesus with us every step of the way? Lent doesn’t feel so daunting or sad, it feels like just the right push to grow closer to God, who loves us.