Tuesday of the fifth week of Lent
The readings for the day can be found here.
“Where I am going you cannot come.” Although directed at the Pharisees I think Jesus was speaking to all of us when he uttered these words. But stop and think for a minute, was not Jesus’ mission on earth to bring all people to Him and therefore with Him? I believe that yes he did, yet we still are not able to go where he is going. Why not? What is keeping us from going where Jesus is going? Jesus goes on to answer that question for us, “You belong to this world.”
Every year when Lent comes in the liturgical year the debate begins about what we are going to “give up” for Lent. Some people give up chocolate or soda, some give up video games or fast food. Other people give up their time to do extra service, go to daily mass, or attend a retreat. But is giving something up for 40 days enough to be able to follow where Jesus went? At Ash Wednesday mass the priest told us in his homily that for Lent giving up is not simply good enough; we must let go. That sounds a little more involved and I think it holds the key to following Christ on His journey.
When you give something up, it’s quite easy to go find where you put it and pick it right back up afterwards. However, when you let something go; it’s gone.
During this season of preparation I think it is our sins that we must let go: all of them. Those are what is truly keeping us from following where Jesus went. By letting go of our sins we are offering them to God for forgiveness and then never finding them again, they’re gone. What better way to prepare ourselves for the Resurrection of Jesus than to let go our sins, of ourselves and commit to a life free of sin. Jesus tells us later in the gospel that he “always [does] what is pleasing to [the Father].” What would it take for us to always do what pleases the Father? For each of us that answer is different, but I believe it involves some letting go and concentrating on how we are living our lives each day. If we can make a commitment to ourselves to change our lives we can alter our path to be closer to the one Jesus took, and perhaps one day to follow and go where he has led us.
John Koch is a first year student at St. Louis University School of Medicine and a member of the Billiken Pep Band.