Accept the Invitation

A Lenten Reflection from Mr. Thomas Gambardella ’76, Director of Campus Ministry

We all enjoy going to our mailboxes and finding an invitation. The event probably doesn’t even matter. Whether it be a birthday party, anniversary, wedding, etc., we feel good that someone loves us and wants us to be part of their life and join in the celebration.

Our Father in heaven is always inviting us into a relationship with Him. Lent is the perfect time to stop and take stock of our commitment to God and show Him how we want to RSVP to that call.

Our Church asks us to respond by focusing on three aspects of our faith; prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Our prayer lives can always use improvement and we take this time of Lent to commit to spending more time in conversation with God. A relationship won’t last too long if the partners never communicate. No matter where we are in our prayer life, let’s just promise to better our “talk” with Him.

We also take time during this season to fast. This practice can take many forms and we all probably immediately think of “giving something up”. That is a great practice but that should not be the end of the story. The why of fasting is just as important. Our fast, along with any spiritual practice, should ultimately get us closer to God. If we are only giving up candy to lose a few extra pounds, then our fast fails in its intention. Jesus fasted for 40 days and the devil tried to convince Him to sin. Jesus, through his fasting, had no support except his faith in God, and rebuked Satan and his empty promises. His fast helped Him to focus on 100% trust in God. May we do the same.

Lastly, we look at almsgiving. Of course, money and our generosity with it, is important. However, just as critical is our generosity of self. Are we willing to give of ourselves whenever called upon? Many times, it is easier to throw a few dollars at a problem instead of donating ourselves to solving an issue.

Each year, we have 40 days as a special gift from God to turn back to the Lord and let Him create a clean heart in us. Let’s take time this Lenten season to rsvp a resounding “YES” to His invitation.