By Maria Covarrubias
As I got ready to take my early morning weekend walk, I thought of reading my daily reflection for Lent before leaving the house to have some food for thought. But then I decided to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to me without me having an agenda and so I left the house ready to hear the Lord. The wind was blowing and chilly.
A clear blue sky was the background for all trees and houses. I started paying attention to the trees. Many are in full bloom with beautiful flowers of different colors. From afar some others seem dormant, but as I came closer, I could see the sprouts ready to burst open. The whole of creation is alive!
As I continued to observe, memories came from the scripture readings I heard in the last weeks during Mass from the Book of Genesis that narrates how God created all living things. “God saw how good it was.” Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” “God created man in his image, male and female he created them. God blessed them, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1:24, 26-28).”
It is obvious that God was pleased with all of his creation. He had a great dream for humanity. A life giving plan rooted in God’s immense and profound love. Why did this man and this woman not get it? Later on Genesis narrates how Adam and Eve broke the covenant with God and through their disobedience opened the door to sin, bringing death and suffering for all humanity. God gives us the freedom to choose and our first parents chose death and a chain of sin began (Gen 3-4).
In another reading Genesis describes, “When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he made man on the earth and his heart grieved.” ‘I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created, for I am sorry that I made them.’ But then, Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord (Gen. 6: 5-6). Noah’s faithfulness gave humanity another chance. We know now that the ultimate savior is Jesus who gave his life for us and restored the plan of our salvation!
As I was coming back from my walk, I noticed that my own cherry tree had half of the branches blooming and the other half seem dried. This is the same with the world. Some people are connected with the trunk, “Jesus Christ,” blooming in their faith and bearing good fruits. But what about those brothers and sisters who live their lives disconnected from God and the Church? How can they realize the importance of being closely connected to the Body of Jesus Christ? What is our role in this?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because men and women are created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to Himself. Only in God will we find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for (CCC No. 27).”
We are made by God and for God! Lent is a wonderful opportunity to do an inventory of our priorities, to reconnect with our God, our faith and the Church. This opportunity is for all. Jesus is reaching out to all of us with a heart full of compassion and mercy right now. He wants to restore our lives through the grace of the Holy Spirit. He wishes for us to find truth and happiness. Will you accept his invitation and partake in this encounter? God is reaching out to you today! Strive to have the best Lent ever!
Maria G. Covarrubias is Director of the Office of Catechetical Ministry in the Diocese of San Bernardino.