Reflections of God's Goodness
Most of us think of Lent as a time of repentance, a time to turn away from sin, to clean up our act. But Lent is more about the good news of God’s vision for each of us.
The word repentance comes from the Greek word, “metanoia,” which means something quite different from our understanding of repentance. It literally means ‘to change one’s mindset.’ “Jesus preached metanoia as an invitation to believe that God was about something entirely new and wonderful – and everyone who so desired could participate in the good news.” (Mary G. McGlone NCR, January 24, 2021)
From the beginning, Jesus declared the Kingdom of God. Matthew 4:17 says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” With our new understanding of metanoia, it could say, “Change your mindset, open it up for a new understanding, for the kingdom of heaven is here right now!”
“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Imagine that God sent an angel to you, and the angel whispered, “God loves you and he wants to share with you the fullness of His life, beginning now and continuing forever!” He wants you to follow Jesus, listen to his words and act on them, so that the whole world will believe! After your initial shock, I think you would have to take it seriously. Wouldn’t you say “yes,” and like Mary, be willing to let God have his way with you?
“He chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. . . .” Ephesians 1:4
God wants to open our eyes to the world He created to help us find and know Him. “Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.” Romans 1:20
My prayer for us this Lent is “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.” Ephesians 1:17
Lent can be an opportunity to deepen our understanding of what God offers us in Jesus. Taking on the mindset and heart of Jesus will give us the grace to follow Him with new energy and boldness and to see God everywhere in everything.
Ask God to change your mindset. Read the gospels with your spiritual eyes and ears wide open to what God has for you. As we contemplate His words over these coming weeks, may God prepare our mindsets and hearts for the great feast of Easter, where Jesus’ Resurrection affirms all we know of God.
Happy Lent and blessings for a glorious Easter,
Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn, SNDdeN
“May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of his glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe. . . .”