Friday of the third week of Lent
The readings for the day can be found here.
In reflecting upon the readings for today I recall a particular homily given during my preparation for Confirmation. The message from this homily has and continues to resonate throughout my life, but plays a special role in the way I approach the Lenten Season. The priest that Sunday night captivated my mind and heart with the phrase “fidelity is won in the middle.” This statement, for me, explains the ever-constant struggle to sustain a relationship with God. During Lent we are reminded that God joyfully waits to enter into a loving relationship with humankind if we so choose. Just as the first reading urges Israel to “return to the Lord,” we are given the opportunity to reorient our lives on Christ through Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season. With ashes on our foreheads and good intentions on our hearts we commit to abstaining from all sorts of sweets and treats or promise to practice good habits. The beginning of our journey is so clearly marked and, although not fully explainable, everyone knows the end to the Lenten story. Yet it is in the days that span from the day after Ash Wednesday to the Holy Triduum that offer the true test. The days on which we do not bear recognizable symbols of our faith nor which we are in church because of holy obligation are the days in which we can prove ourselves to God. If we can remain faithful after the newness of the season has worn off and before the sorrow, yet excitement of the end draws near, then we have won our fidelity to God. The importance of this middle time represents the struggle to maintain interest in our personal growth and to sustain the spiritual fervor with which we begin and end Lent. We can derive strength from the ability to follow the Gospel’s call to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” throughout all times.
In the midst of this struggle with the seemingly unending middle I like to imagine God as facing me with His arms wide open. His constant and unchanging figure reminds me that we are the ones who choose to turn our backs on Him and walk in the other direction. Thoughts and actions create distance between the awaiting embrace and us; however, with each choice in life we have the opportunity to move closer to God’s all-encompassing love. Hosea tells us to ask God to “forgive all iniquity and receive what is good.” No matter how far we remove ourselves from God we are always given the opportunity to make it all the way back to Him. Steadfast are those who fight to win fidelity in the middle.
Cami Kasmerchak is a Freshman studying Business. She is involved with APO, Upper Room, Christian Life Communities, and Spanish Mass. When she’s not studying or attending campus events she can be found dancing at the Simon Rec Center with friends.