“Lent?” Maybe Not This Year

Sadly, our grandmother needed to die first. We liked her a lot, but it happened. It wasn’t long after that we got hers for our family home. I thought we’d never get one.

Our black and white was okay until I saw a color one through our living room window. You see, our neighbors, who were childless, got to purchase a precious color one. Our home full of children could not. (You do the math.) “My mother’s dismissive answer to my plaguing requests? “Ours is just fine.”

The program was “Bonanza.” Sunday night. 1960’s. Walking through our living room, I looked through our window into the window of our childless neighbors. And there it was, as the announcer announced with a harp playing in the background. Thinking today, I don’t know how color can have an adjective of “living,” but it was compelling to a young mind living in a house with too many siblings and watching the same show only in two flat, blah colors.

Jesus tells us, “This is the time.” Just like Jesus, how does our dreary “black and white” Lent turn into the “living color” (whatever that means) of Easter?

“This is the time.” At the end of Lent, we’ll hear powerful, colorful words tossed about like hope, promise, covenant, newness, eternal life, hoping to have all of it land into our laps and hearts. How do we move from the “black and white’s” of our lives to live in its “living color?”

Oh, but wait! What if this Lent is not your time? We can go through the motions because of the Church’s calendar, but our hearts and souls aren’t in it. What I mean is that what if your big “this is the time” moment isn’t until May 10, July 2, or even August 2 or sometime next year? The Church provides a blueprint for us called Lent. The Church shows us how it’s done, so you’ll know the sequence when it does happen to you. You will know what to expect.

“This is the time.” We all have them throughout our lives; trust me on that. Do we let others decide for us, so we have someone to blame if things go a-rye? Do we postpone that time as long as possible, waiting for other options to pop up, or do we just procrastinate? The Church gives us a yearly Easter date, but it may not our date.

I saw something beautiful through my Lenten window into the window of Easter. I saw a hint of it. In “living color,” whatever that means. My counsel of friends and family help in my Easter view – new life, discernment, prayer. I ponder never for answers (God doesn’t give answers), but God does grace us with grace, guidance, strength, and what Scripture calls “the right path.” How do we move from the “black and whites” of our lives to one’s lived in a “living color?” Life decisions, of all kinds, are never easy to make or resolve.

“This is the time.” Time for what? We each know, in our hearts, what it’s time for. Change? Modification? Renewal? Retrieving? Remembering? Reconciling with a co-worker or friend about a disagreement neither of you remembers? Letting go of an attitude about yourself that’s been holding you down year upon year? Always the worst, apologizing. In second place is self-forgiveness. Forgiveness of another, whether living or deceased (deceased is trickier but still doable) is number three. The Church’s calendar gives a yearly date, but your date will be as they say, “TBA.”

Simple or profound. It’s all enriching, folks, for the beautiful faith given us at Baptism and a renewed Baptism, every single Easter. Whether it be done through life’s erasing or in life’s enhancing. That’s the paschal mystery of Easter.

Remembering my grandmother’s color TV today, I perceive it as new life and new attitudes, and a renewed faith that this holy season provides. When our “this is the time” comes, please remember that announcer from many years ago proclaiming to you and your Easter decisions (complete with a harp), “And brought to you in living color on NBC.”

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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1 Response to “Lent?” Maybe Not This Year

  1. ervross says:

    Fr. Joe: Funny tat you should put the date July 2 in your homily. Guess it does have meaning for two of us Blessings, Friend erv


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