St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

A suggestion for Lenten Journey

 

To Live a Consistent Christian Life                        -Homily of Wednesday, March 5

 

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten journey, which will lead us to the Easter Triduum, the memorial of the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection and the heart of the mystery of our salvation.

Lent prepares us for this most important moment; therefore, it is a “powerful” season, a turning point that can foster change and conversion in each of us. We all need to improve, to change for the better.

The very ancient and moving rite of ashes opens this penitential journey. While putting ashes on the heads of the faithful, the celebrant can warn each of them with one of the following sentences: 

 

1. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (cf. Gn 3:19).

 They allude to the necessity of death and invite us not to forget that we are merely passing through this world.

 

2. “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (cf. Mk 1:15).

It is an invitation to conversion and to bear witness to Jesus Christ. In fact, “the Christian is the person, a man or woman, who bears witness to Jesus Christ”[1].

 

Pope Francis said that we need “to think like a Christian; to feel like a Christian, and to act like a Christian”. Consistency in the Christian life means that in one’s acting, feeling and thinking, one acknowledges the presence of the Lord.

 

“One might say, ‘I am a Christian!’ but if you do not live like a Christian, if you do not act like a Christian, if you do not think like a Christian and feel like a Christian, something is amiss. There is a certain inconsistency!”. All Christians “are called to give testimony to Jesus Christ”. And Christians who “ordinarily and commonly live inconsistently do great harm”. Everyone has heard it said: “I believe in God but not in the Church, because you Christians say one thing and do another!”. These are words “we have all heard: I believe in God but not in you!”. And this occurs precisely because of “inconsistency”.

 

“We need to pray in order to live a consistent Christian life, for Christian consistency is a gift of God”. It is a gift we should strive to ask for, saying: “Lord, may I be consistent! Lord, may I never give scandal! May I be a person who thinks like a Christian, who feels like a Christian, who acts like a Christian!”.

 

Pope Francis then proposed a very practical example: “If you happen to be with an atheist who tells you that he does not believe in God, you can read him the whole library, where it says that God exists, and where it is proven that God exists, and he will not believe”. However, he continued, “if in the presence of this same atheist you witness to a consistent, Christian life, something will begin to work in his heart”. Lent is a great opportunity to think about that and to change our heart!

 

Let our prayers, penances and almsgiving help us to think like a Christian; to feel like a Christian, and to act like a Christian. –Fr. Higinio 

 



[1] We will abstract a meditation that Pope Francis preached on 27 February 2014.