This year, Lent begins on March 2nd with Ash Wednesday. A period of forty days is proposed to us to live a spiritual journey that will lead us to the great feast of the Resurrection, that of Easter. We begin this period with an invitation to be converted and to believe in the Good News of the Gospel.

A theme is presented to us to enable us to live this Easter ascent well. “To be born again with Christ”. We are invited to deepen our baptismal process. With the pandemic that continues in our society, we need to have a special look at our Christian witness. We often hear the reflection that it will be different in the years to come. To us who are children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, a call is addressed to let the Holy Spirit work in our lives. What a wonderful opportunity to experience the newness of the Spirit? “From liturgy to witness!

The liturgy of the Word presents to us the history of the people of God in the Old Testament and the New Testament. These people allowed themselves to be guided by God himself. This closeness of God to them was not always welcomed according to his will. In spite of the distances experienced, these people experienced the Lord’s mercy. The Word of God thus shares with us different covenants of God with his people. These covenants are manifested with Abraham, Moses and the prophets. God is thus faithful to his covenants despite the errors of the people.

The gospels of this period show us the testimony of Jesus and his teachings. Faced with the temptations of the devil in the desert, Jesus is faithful to the Father by using the extracts of the Word to affirm himself as the Son of God. Also, the account of the transfiguration already presents us with the face of the Risen One. The barren fig tree shows us the goodness and love of God towards each person. It is always possible to be a witness to Christ in our daily lives despite our weaknesses. The merciful Father welcomes his Son who was lost and came back to life. What a beautiful and merciful welcome that God our Father shows us unceasingly! Jesus shows us his unconditional welcome with the adulterous woman. Who are we to judge the other? Let us welcome the Father’s forgiveness in the person of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The last week of Lent recalls the last moments of Jesus’ life. From the Last Supper to the resurrection of Christ, we relive the mystery of death and resurrection which certifies God’s victory over evil and death.

Lent leads us to the great feast of Easter. This feast makes us live the definitive covenant of the Father with creation and humanity.

Let us welcome the newness of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives by opening our hearts to his new life. This life force allows us to be more and more brothers and sisters in faith. Let us live our baptism as priest, prophet and king!

Happy Lent! Happy Easter!

Father Marcel Blanchard,
Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal