“Walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6: 4)
Lent is a journey towards the passion and the cross. Today’s reading from Romans asks us to consider how we might participate in that journey with Christ, seeing the cross not only as a matter of Christ dying for us, but a matter of us dying with him (Rom. 6: 5).
Paul tells us that dying with Christ is the path to “newness of life” (6: 4). But how can life come from death? Paul’s answer to this question is to see our lived encounter with the cross as something active and life-giving. Every day we can “die with Christ” by praying for help in the call to self-sacrifice, a deeper concern with injustice, and a greater capacity for love. In all these ways, we can learn to listen to the living “word” of the Father (Jn. 5: 24) and be drawn more deeply into the mystery of His passion, as we journey with Him “from death to life” (Jn. 5: 24).
One meaning of “Lent” (as musicians will know) is to slow down. During Lent, we are being asked to “press the pause button” on our busy lives, and take time to reflect on our journeys with Christ to the Cross. We may only be able to offer a small amount of time to this, but we can be reassured that, according to the psalmist’s way of counting time: “one day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” (Ps. 84: 10).
— Laura Biron