It’s Friday morning, and I just glanced at my calendar. And to my horror, daylight savings time is marked for this Sunday, March 12, 2023. Oh no, the one day I dread all year long is fast approaching. It’s one of my least favorite days of the year, as it always messes with my sleep schedule for days, weeks, and maybe months until they change the time back in the fall. But just like time changes, there are many things in life that we can’t control, seasons, weather, inflation, the state of the world, and people’s behavior. All we can do is prepare ourselves and respond in the best possible way we know how.
The Lenten season is a reminder of this, as it challenges us to overcome the desires of the flesh (like more sleep) and prepare ourselves for Easter. It’s not meant to be a season of suffering or denying ourselves of something for no reason, but rather Lent is an opportunity to become new persons ready to rise with Christ.
St. Oscar Romero once said, “People do not mortify themselves during Lent out of a sick desire to suffer. God did not make us for suffering. If we fast or do penances or pray, it is for a very positive goal: by overcoming self, one achieves the Easter resurrection. We do not just celebrate a risen Christ, distinct from us, but during Lent, we prepare ourselves to rise with him to new life and to become the new persons is what the country needs right now. Let us not just shout slogans about new structures; new structures will be worthless without new persons to administer the new structures the country needs and live them out in their lives.”
St. Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, The Violence of Love (2004). Assassinated March 24, 1980, El Salvador
His words struck a chord with me. Lent was not meant to be a time of aimless suffering but intentional self-reflection and growth. It reminds us that we can always strive to become better versions of ourselves, even in the face of things we can’t control.
So, as I prepare for the time change, I am reminded that I may not have control over everything in life, but I do have control over how I respond. As I mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually prepare to adjust my clocks forward an hour, I keep in mind that change is hard many times. We don’t quickly adapt and accept them because we’re too comfortable with everything where they are. But if we’re to embrace a new season, and rise with Christ, then we must prepare ourselves for a future that lies ahead, in which God is calling us not just to wake up but to rise and embrace the new life that awaits us.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday morning, an hour earlier than usual!
Peace and grace!