Lent is now behind us, yet in our excitement for Easter (and for Lent being over), how often to you take a moment to look back at your Lenten journey to do a post-game review?
As a volunteer leader and business school graduate, the concept of doing a formal "review" after an event or activity is a long held important practice... one that, unfortunately, tends to get overlooked even at the highest levels. Still, it remains a staple of standard practice, and for good reason... It affords those involved, and the entire organization, a chance to review everything after the fact... what went well, what didn't, and lay the groundwork for next time. The same is true for looking back at our Lenten journey. So... how did you do?
I have to be honest, I sometimes fail to practice what I preach. For as important as a post-lenten review might be, I hadn't thought of the idea until now. I didn't even really think about it until this morning when I read the following article that was tagged in the daily
Do I remember the date of my baptism? No... not at the moment. I believe it was in January of 1963, but I need to look this up. But in trying to remember the date of my baptism I was reminded of what I wrote in my posting going back to the 1st Sunday of Advent. In that post I noted, "that According to the Constitution
of the Sacred Liturgy promulgated from the Second Vatican Council,
“The season of Lent has a twofold character: primarily by recalling or
preparing for baptism and by penance, it disposes the faithful, who more
diligently hear the word of God and devote themselves to prayer, to
celebrate the paschal mystery.” "
Also in that post that my mission for this Lent would be to focus on Baptism while going over our readings for this Lent, and to see where it would take us. After all, I had only just learned of this connection of Baptism to Lent, so I felt this was an important journey. So, how did I do? Well, as to the first part... making sure to focus on Baptism while reviewing our readings week after week, I feel was successful. I was in fact able to find baptismal references in all our Sunday readings this Lent... some more obvious than others, but still present in all of them. But where did this journey lead me? I'm not exactly sure.
Our faith journey isn't always a straight line. It's not always obvious, and to be sure, it is anything but quick. In fact, I've noticed that our lectionary has embraced the concept of "the slow reveal." Showing us a little bit at a time so we can digest that before moving on. This is how it was with the prophets. This is how it was with the Apostles. Our understanding of God isn't instantaneous... it develops over time, through the Holy Spirit. Patience and perseverance are key gifts to embrace as we grow our relationship with the Lord.
So as to my better understanding of Baptism and Lent through the scriptures... my journey is not yet really complete. Going through our readings for Cycle A, I think I have a better understanding... but each Liturgical Cycle has it's own special message. I couldn't give a fair analysis until I make it through Cycle B and Cycle C. Yes, I've been through these readings before, and I could make a quick study of them now, but instead I've decided to embrace the slow reveal and let them come in their due course.
As for my developing an understanding of the importance of our Baptism... of this I am certain... like I learned from Dr. Jerry Galipeau earlier this year, and reminded again through this article posted on the Angelus, I would not be where I am today if not for my baptism, and for that I am eternally grateful!