by Cheriyan Vengal, Toronto, Canada
Following is an analysis of my Lenten experience based on the Gospel readings of the last six Sundays as the guidelines to figure out whether I am ready to see the glory of God.
The Gospel on the first Sunday was of the miracle in the Wedding of Cane where Jesus blessed the water to be converted into vine. I understood that Jesus was invited to this feast, and the family did whatever He told them. The question suddenly came to my mind was that whether I invited Jesus into my life. The answer was a big No. I should have invited Him into my life and did whatever He told me as I want it to be a feast without sufferings and scarcities, but with happiness and abundance. That miracle would have happened in my life on the first week of the Great Lent.
The Gospel on the second Sunday was that of the miracle of healing the leper. I thought for a moment, whether I am affected with any form of leprosy. I rewind my life to see whether the needy fear to approach me as normally people do with lepers; others fear to make company with me due to my Ďvery goodí character and conduct. I understood that itís the case. I should have implored Jesus to be cleansed out of my leprosy and that miracle would have happened in my life on the second week of the Great Lent.
The Gospel on the third Sunday was of the miracle of curing the paralyzed man. After reading the meaning of the word paralysis, I understood that I am affected with brachial palsy, cerebral palsy, and bellís palsy etc. As I donít care to extent my hand to the needy, my hands are paralyzed or having brachial palsy. Due to the cerebral palsy or paralysis of brain, my thoughts become crooked or wonít think in the proper or useful way. Because of Bellís palsy or paralysis of face, my facial nerves becomes tight, or even go out of shape when I hear request for help. I should have gone to hear the words of God and follow those to avoid these, by overcoming the toughest hindrances on my way. That miracle would have happened in my life, and I could have arisen out of my sins and walk in a new life on the third week of Great Lent.
The Gospel on the forth Sunday was the miracle of healing a person from the bondage of devil. Even though the teaching was to love each other, I created enemies for no reason. Bible emphasized to love the spouse as one's own body, but I am in doubt. Itís written to bring the children in God's fear.. But I donít. Even though I was expected to obey and look after my parents, I don't. Due to many other such cases also, I understood I am seriously vexed with some form of devil, otherwise I would have followed His teachings. I should have come out of the bondage with devil so that this miracle would have happened in my life on the fourth week of Great lent.
The Gospel on the fifth Sunday was of the miracle of healing the crippled person. Itís written that this person was crippled by spirit, and was healed from the infirmity. I looked at the meaning of infirmity and one of the meaning was Ďmoral weakness or defectí. I afraid I can stand straight in front of others due to the weight of infirmity. If I canít even stand in front of others, what about before God. I should have been in the sight of Him to be cured from my infirmity and this miracle would have happened in my life on the fifth week of the Great Lent.
The Gospel on the sixth Sunday was of the miracle of healing of the blind. I asked myself, am I blind in anyway ? Can I see the requirements of the needy ? Or even though I can see, do I pretend as I canít see ? Am I keep quite when I see something wrong is going on ? Yes I do. I should have requested Him to open up my eyes and this miracle would have happened in my life on the sixth week of the Great Lent.
Most of those miracles were forgiving the sins to heal the ailment. I realize that I am carrying a whole bunch of other sins also on my back like a donkey tied in that junction without knowing which path to take ! If these miracles would have happened in my life, I could have seen the glory of God. For Jesus said on Lazarus Saturday that 'Believe, you will see the glory of God'. Even though the six useful weeks have gone, I have another six days of the passion week to transform myself so that those miracles will happen in my life. I will invite Him into my life so that He will ride on me and I will do whatever He tells me for the rest of the week and beyond to enjoy those miracles and I believe I will be able to see the Glory of God on the seventh Sunday of the Great Lent - Easter Sunday.
The Mystery of Lent by Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.
A season so sacred as this of Lent is rich in mysteries. The Church has made it a time of recollection and penance, in preparation for the greatest of all her feasts; she would, therefore, bring into it everything that could excite the faith of her children, and encourage them to go through the arduous work of atonement for their sins. ...
Practice During Lent by Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.
Penance consists in contrition of the soul, and mortification of the body; these two parts are essential to it. The soul has willed the sin; the body has frequently co-operated in its commission. Moreover, man is composed of both soul and body; both, then, should pay homage to their Creator.
Some Hints for Lent by the Rt. Rev. A.C.A. Hall
The chief duties of Lent are Retirement, Prayer, Fasting, Repentance, and Almsgiving.
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