2/28/09

Lent: Preparing for Easter


Image: NLM

At the Easter Vigil and at Mass on Easter Sunday, we will “renew the promises of our baptism” after we are asked:
Do you reject sin
so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?
Do you reject the glamor of evil
and refuse to be mastered by sin?
Do you reject Satan,
and all his works and empty promises?
Do you believe in God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth...?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God...?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life...?
Do you believe in
one, holy, catholic and apostolic church?
Do you believe in the forgiveness of sins?
Do you look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come?
And we respond, “I do. I do. I do...”

But do we?
Do we believe?
Do we even understand the questions?

Lent is a good time for us to study and pray over these questions so that we can be prepared to answer them with a strong, “I do!” at Easter.

Fr. Bill Reiser, SJ has proposed some additional questions to ponder as we prepare in Lent to renew our baptismal promises at Easter. Perhaps his questions will provide food for thought and prayer as we prepare this Lent to celebrate the Paschal mystery.
- Do you accept Jesus as your teacher, as the example whom you will always imitate and as the one in whom the mystery of God’s love for the world has been fully revealed?

- Do you dedicate yourself to seeking the reign of God and God’s justice, to praying daily, to meditating on the Gospels and to celebrating the Eucharist faithfully and devoutly?

- Do you commit yourself to that spirit of poverty and detachment that Jesus enjoined on his disciples, and to resisting the spirit of consumerism and materialism that is so strong in our culture?

- Do you accept responsibility for building community, for being a person of compassion and reconciliation, for being mindful of the poor and the oppressed, and for truly forgiving those who have offended you?

- Will you try to thank and praise God by your works and by your actions, in times of prosperity as well as in moments of suffering, giving loyal witness to the risen Jesus by your faith, by your hope, and by the style of your living?

- Do you surrender your life to God as a disciple and companion of Jesus? Do you believe that God is the Lord of history, sovereign over nations and peoples, and that God’s promise to redeem all of creation from its bondage to death and decay will one day be accomplished?
All of these questions, the traditional and the additional, are offered here as “food for thought and prayer” during the Lenten season.

Some 40 days from now we’ll be renewing our baptismal promises and professing our faith in God. Let us pray for one another that this season of preparation will find us ready to answer “I do!” with voices and hearts filled with faith.
2009LentPostCollection
-ConcordPastor

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