From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris…February 25, 2018

We began our reflection on the Season of Lent by looking back to the season of final preparation for catechumens coming into the Church. Fairly early on, this was expanded to incorporate all Christians as they prepared to celebrate the Easter mysteries. It makes sense, especially as we remember that Christians still lived in a culture that was largely opposed, even hostile, to Christians.

Our culture is still largely Christian, but it is becoming less so by the day. Because we spend so much time interacting with it, it is easy to get sucked in by the many ways the world warps its Christian foundations to lead us astray. For example, Jesus commands us to love our neighbors. This is most definitely a good thing. However, the world twists this into strange notions of “marriage equality” and how people should be free to “love” whomever they want.

The Season of Lent provides us with an opportunity, even though we are already in the Church, to be like the catechumens and to continue to turn our lives away from the world and back to Christ. This is part of the value of fasting and other disciplines of Lent. They are part of the call to turn away from the things of this world, even the good things of this world, so that we are no longer ensnared by them, so that we can think clearly with the mind of Christ and His Church and we can live the truth of Christ more fully.

It is easy in life to simply move from one thing to the next and to not even pay that much attention to where it is leading. If we are not paying attention, then we can find ourselves agreeing with and even engaging in things that are actually doing us more harm than good. I will even use myself as an example. Years ago I decided that I would not have cable or satellite in my rectories. I found that I had a tendency to simply sit down and waste several hours flipping channels and watching four uninteresting shows at once. I would get sucked in, and my life was worse for it. I had to cut it off at the knees, and my life is better for it.

Jesus, in the closing prayer of the Last Supper, prays that, as He sends the disciples out into the world, they won ‘t belong to the world (John 17). We have all heard some version of the saying about “being in the world but not of the world”. Lent is set aside for us, from early on in the Church, so that we can extricate ourselves from the traps of this world to be more faithful disciples, to be in the world, because we have to be in the world, without letting the world define our lives.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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