Lent is a time for us to cultivate and fertilize our lives so that we will bear more fruit! Lent calls us to do more than “just hang in there”…to do more than just resist being mean or selfish or nasty… more than to just resist sin! Lent calls us to open up our hearts to God… to be transformed by God’s unconditional love and thus to bear amazing fruit. Lent calls us to new growth…to grow into a more loving person… more loving of God and neighbor. This is the fruit that God desires us to bear! All of our almsgiving, fasting and prayer ultimately are meant to help us in our transformation. Ideally through these Lenten practices we become more aware of how we are living in the world and how we are living our discipleship of Jesus Christ.
Are we empathetic to the pain and suffering of others and do we reach out to help them in some way? Lent offers us an opportunity to slow down and reflect on how we live our lives on a daily basis in light of how the Gospel calls us to live. It provides us time to ask ourselves: Is there anything I need to change or to do differently in my life so it might bear more fruit? What are the” fruits” of my life? How does the way I live my life impact others…both positively and negatively? How could my impact be greater? How do I “fertilize and cultivate” the lives of others so they too may bear more fruit?