- Lent, a time of conversion
of the heart
Along the liturgical year, the four weeks of Advent precede
the Nativity; the seven weeks afterwards lead to Easter, and
the other five weeks to Pentecost. To celebrate well, a way of
conversion of the heart is proposed to us every year.
- Was it not already the same in Jesus' time? When he accepted
the baptism of Johan the Baptist, it is said to us that a voice
was heard from heaven" You are my beloved Son, in you I
am well pleased" (Luke, 3, 22). What a light, what a grace,
and what an interior strength it was to take conscience, at the
start of his mission, to which point God loves him!
Then Jesus lead by the Holy Spirit goes to the desert as it is
said in the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent. Filled by this
love which animates and vivifies him, the temptations of easy
success and magical and overwhelming power to which he had to
face lead him to deepen and precise his engagement (Luke, 4,
Then following the narration of his Transfiguration that is
proposed to us the following Sunday (Luke, 9, 28
- a new stage is offered to Jesus through the inner feeling
towards him of Peter, James and John: three disciples among the
closest. We will find them at Gethsemane and two of them, after
Maria Magdalena, will be the first to testify to the Resurrection.
Then, at the start of Lent, will we not be also invited to an
inner discovery, to an other look on Jesus: the one who is the
elected one in accordance with the Law and the Prophets (Moses,
Elias), in charge of transmitting the light, of announcing the
Good News of liberation. Both the Gospel of purification in the
desert and the Transfiguration enlighten us in our way to Easter.
Perhaps Lent has been too much centered towards asceticism
and moral purification.
- First of all we are called upon for a conversion of the
heart and more precisely to be aware of a loving presence. We
re-discover that God loves us. Our God of kindness and love makes
us free of all constraints. His loving presence is for every
being; whatever are his limits and poverty. A strong link of
communication makes us closer to each other because we are of
the same blood; we are participating of this same vital flux
coming from God.
Our attention on moral rightness, in this time of Lent, should
not entirely absorb us, most important is to have a somewhat
new consideration of God and his alliance offered to us. Going
to Easter time it is to revive our faith in the Resurrection;
it is the amazement of knowing that God loves us. When our faith
becomes stronger, our behavior towards our brothers and sisters
in humanity, then in filiations with God, is going to imperceptibly
change, to become more refined, richer. Lent, a time of conversion
of the heart and of transformation of our appreciation of Jesus
and his Good News, is an improvement of our humanity.
Anybody who is aware of the others has a lot of reasons to struggle
for justice and solidarity. If we know and believe that God loves
us, that we have something of divine, how can we not incarnate
this faith we have in our daily life? Consequently a more profound
understanding of our faith in a loving God who frees us of any
constraints and to have more concern about the others, especially
the poorer ones, intensify our ascending to Easter celebration
during the time of Lent.