Before I was ordained, one of my on-again, off-again past-times was computer tech support. Often under the guise of a ‘small problem’, I would get that familiar call: “my computer is [insert malfunction here], would you take a look at it?”. Before I would come over, I quickly learned to request that the owner reboot their computer – the all-purpose on-off maneuver. The majority of the time, that simply act would clear whatever error was occurring.
In the ordinary course of Lent each year, I find that I have to reboot my Lenten practices at least once….but usually several times. Sometimes the ‘small problem’ that I could easily identify was just that. A fresh start after accidentally eating meat on a Friday, watching the television I had given up, or otherwise mis-stepping in a little way was easily remedied by recommitting myself to prayer and discipline.
Other times, I found that that ‘small problem’ opened the door to deeper needs that lay hidden or even ignored in my heart and in my spiritual life. It isn’t always pleasant to have wounds or nerves exposed, but the invitation is always to a great conversion, to a more intimate relationship with Jesus.
At this point in Lent, we find ourselves at a sort of reboot – forced though it is! Rather than being prompted by a small problem of our own, we are being united by a larger challenge in our local and global community.
What will this reboot reveal for us in our relationship with Christ and each other? Stripped of the usual practices of our faith, of the comfortable routines, of the regular avenues of relating to Jesus, how will we respond?
While we would never wish for these times, there is a possibility for great fruitfulness here. The invitation remains: be converted and join in a more profound friendship with Jesus and His Church!
May we take this time of change and adaptation to renew our commitment. Jesus is dedicated to restoring us to the glory of living out our vocations as God’s beloved sons and daughters. Let us not hesitate to call on Him, to start anew, and to be more closely united with Him.