Focus on Jesus this Lenten season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2014

We have entered the Lenten Season, which Catholics believe is a time intended to recommit themselves to Christ. It is a time to sever worldly ties and put off things of the flesh. It’s a time to go through a physical and spiritual purging for a 40-day period.

Its purpose is to experience more deeply the full meaning of Easter and Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It’s all about putting off the sinful nature by fasting and denying the flesh. It’s about making a sacrifice, and that’s acceptable to God, but the bottom line is that whatever we do, it’s our motives by which we’ll be judged.

Growing up Catholic as a teenager, I attempted to give up candy, soft drinks, movies, etc. — whatever I felt I needed to control. As I got older and enjoyed alcohol, I would try to give up drinking for the 40-day period but never succeeded.

Over the years, I’ve seen many people give up drinking alcohol during the Lenten Season. Some honestly want to offer a sacrifice, while others, in my opinion, are trying to prove they can go six weeks without booze.

Let’s consider, first of all, that if we really don’t like to drink and we don’t like the effects that alcohol has on us, then it really is not a sacrifice. Secondly, if we drink regularly and try to prove to ourselves and other people that we can leave it alone for six weeks, then we could have a problem.

Remember, it’s not how often you drink; it’s how alcohol affects you when you drink. I’ve seen people with problems successfully abstain for six weeks and on Easter Sunday get so drunk they can’t walk.

I’m reminded that the Bible says God desires obedience rather than sacrifice. He would prefer that we would be obedient every day, rather than 40 days of sacrifice.

Easter is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let’s focus more on what He did, than what we do.  

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