Lent has begun, and I hope that all of you have a most blessed and fruitful Liturgical season. The word Lent comes from the Old English word “lencten” meaning “spring.” It derives from an Old German word meaning “long,” referring to the lengthening of days in spring.
Fortunately for us, Lent here in Austin appropriately occurs with springtime, as we see blooming trees and plants, as well as the lengthening days of spring.
So Lent is not so much about hardship and penance and feeling bad but about longing and preparing for new life. The discipline of Lent only makes sense in the light of Easter. Easter is all about new life, victory over sin and death, and God’s abundant mercy and grace. That is what we look for, what we seek and anticipate.
I encourage you therefore not to be gloomy and grumpy during Lent, but to try to be filled with longing and anticipation. We are looking to celebrate something truly wonderful and magnificent at Easter. We must first confront and embrace the Cross, but we only do so as the true way to the joy of the Resurrection.