We have reached the half-way point in Lent and I’m just wondering how goes it for you?
Perhaps your Lent has been pretty calm with your sacrifices met with ease, every prayer commitment done with joy and almsgiving having no impact whatsoever on the family budget.
Perhaps your Lent has been a bust with the all of your hopes and expectations washed away with your ashes on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday.
Perhaps your Lent has been like mine, with additional sacrifices arriving to surprise you, such as a medical procedure, dental issues and four sick children.
Or perhaps your Lent has been somewhere in the middle. You have kept up with the sacrifices but extra prayer time has been hard to find. The prayers are flowing easily but no thought is made to stretching the budget for an extra donation.
Today is a great day to remember this truth – regardless of how your Lent has looked up to now, you can still make it look better.
Lent is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the Parable of the Two Sons, (Matt 21:28-32) where the two sons take vastly different approaches to obeying the father. One says “Yes” but then doesn’t follow-through while the other says, “No” but regrets their decision and goes anyway.
I’ve always been struck that there is no son who says ‘yes’ and then does it; no readily obedient child is given as an example for us.
We also don’t hear of a child who goes but abandons the work the moment it gets hard and she starts to sweat. We don’t know if there was anyone who gave the father a legitimate, valid reason for why they should be excused from the work. We have only ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
There is just ‘yes, I will’ which was in fact a lie, and a ‘no, I won’t’ which become consent and obedience.
This makes is both a challenge for us and easy. We need to consider Jesus’ command in Matt. 5:37, which follows the Sermon on the Mount and Beatitudes, “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.”
Today is the best day to renew your prayer for grace to become the child who says ‘Yes!’ and goes ahead and does it. What a joy to be that child!