By Sister Rita Lynch, MHSH
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the events of the past….see, I am doing something new”
Philippians 3:12-13 “It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained it, but I continue my pursuit….forgetting what lies behind, but strained forward to what lies ahead.”
Each year, we celebrate the season of Lent, Holy Week and Easter. It is full of special events—Ash Wednesday, Rites of Initiation, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil. We make personal choices of how to journey this most holy and spiritual time of the year. It is a time to remember again the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus, who was sent by God to show us the way to live in God’s presence. It reminds us of all that Jesus lived and died for: “US”!
The readings for this week encourage us not to forget, but also to remember that there is something new waiting for us to receive from our God with open minds and hearts. Each of us has traveled this same journey for as many years as we have had birthdays. Sometimes those years are a repeat of the prayers and liturgies of the previous ones.
Sometimes it seems that we are not called to do the same thing over and over every year. And, if we listen to the words of Isaiah and Paul, we are challenged to look for the deeper meaning, the expanded vision, the next deeper insights of what this time of the year is meant to be for us.
Our faith not only repeats the past words and events, but needs to bring us to “continue the pursuit” as Paul suggests. We are called to discover the “something new” that allows the season to change our hearts and lead us to new understanding of how this time affects our spiritual life and gives us the impetus to carry this season into the future in a new way.
2016 is not the same as 2015, or 2014, or any other year. We are different, have had many new experiences since we celebrated this holy time last year. Perhaps our lives have seen a new commitment—and so we are reminded of the commitment Jesus made with the Father when he came to earth and walked among us.