We have begun the spiritual journey of Lent.
And always at the beginning of Lent, the Church in her liturgy calls us back to our “beginnings.”
On the first Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of Adam and Eve, our first parents. It is not only the story of how the human race began. It is also the story of your life and mine, the life of every person.
I love the image in that story: “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.”
I love this image because it shows us that God is totally involved in creating us. It is a quiet, beautiful scene. God is bending down and picking up the clay of the earth in his hands and shaping it and forming it with love and then breathing his own life into it.
And it is amazing. In this one image we see the truth of our lives, the truth about who we are. We are the work of God’s hands, we are God’s work of art, made in his image, his sons and daughters. And he made us to live in his creation and to serve him with love.
The reason we hear these readings at the beginning of Lent is to inspire us to reflect on who we are and where we came from and what God wants for our lives.
That is the main theme of the pastoral letter that I wrote and published on Ash Wednesday. It is called “For Greater Things You Were Born” and it is a series of reflections on God’s beautiful plan for our world and for each one of our lives.
If you would like a free copy of the letter, we have set up a website for you to order it: unbouncepages.com/pastoral-letter.
My purpose in writing this letter is to help us to deepen our relationship with God and come to know more deeply his love for us. So I hope that during Lent you can read the letter — it is also available online here: archbishopgomez.org/planoflove.
Lent is a wonderful opportunity for us to think about what we are looking for in life. What do we want out of life?
That is a hard question for many of us, because it is hard to think about ourselves. We are too busy, we have so many responsibilities. So it is hard for us to find time to really think about what matters to us, to think about what we want out of life. Lent is a time for us to reflect on this.
I think it is true that we are all looking for love and meaning, for a sense that our lives really matter. I think it is true that we are looking for God. We want to know his love, to know his mercy, to know that we are forgiven.
And this is the meaning of Lent. Lent is about reminding ourselves — just how much God loves us.
We are sinners, it is true. But we are sinners who are made to be saints! We are created to be holy sons and daughters of God. This is why God made us, this is what he wants for our lives.
God is our Father. And like every good parent, God has a dream of love for his children — for each one of us.
My brothers and sisters, you are something special to God — each one of you. There is nobody like you and there is nobody who can replace you! So let us really try to do his will and let us really try to understand and live God’s dream for our lives.
Our Lenten journey is a journey of conversion.
God is inviting us — always, but especially during Lent — to come back to him, to stop running away and to just stay with him. God wants us to accept his love, to say “yes” to his plan for our lives.
God is so gracious. He is so merciful! He wants to be near to us. He wants to be with us.
Something we should always remember: God never withdraws from us. He never turns his back on us, never forgets us or abandons us. He never has, and he never will. That is not in God’s nature.
As for us — well, sometimes we turn our back on God. We all know that we do that. We try to forget him, sometimes. We try to run away. But God — God will always be faithful to us. We can depend on that. We can build our lives on that faith.
So pray for me this week and know that I am praying for you and your family.
And let us ask Mary our Blessed Mother for her intercession, to accompany us through these 40 days and help us to really come to a new amazement at God’s love for us.