So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’ You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” Mark 7:5-8
How often have you given a directive to someone, yet they go and do something totally different than you meant for them to do? I am sure all of us, especially those of us who are parents have experienced this at some point in time or another. You send a message to someone not to say anything, yet they end up doing the exact opposite. Even better, you send a directive down, and everyone follows it, but they do it only because they “have” to do it, not because they are willing participants in the process.
For me, I am reflecting on this because this is the last day before Lent begins. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and we start the process of cleaning out our spiritual closets. That is what I think of Lent as, an opportunity to go deep, and really start fresh and revive the closeness that we all should be having with God. It all starts with being a willing participant in the process. Anyone can soft shoe their way through Lent, give up something minor, and sacrifice some meat consumption on Friday. That is not being an active participant. That is just washing your hands for the sake of washing your hands.
I am trying very hard this year, with this Lent being apart of a Jubilee Year for us Catholics, to be an active participant. The point is to celebrant the renewing of the Covenant with God. It is about renewing our faith and being one who reflects and changes habits for a better relationship with God. Many view Good Friday as a memorial, but I look at it as Salvation, with Easter being the biggest celebration of the year. I will make my small sacrifice, turn off the social media and get back to the basics of my faith. I pray that each and every person out there can get to a point where they are not just going through the motions of faith, but actually participating in the celebration.