Today marks the begining of Lent. For those that are unfamilar, Lent is the season of 40 days that leads up to Easter. and as i went through catholic schooling pretty much until i went to university, my views on the Easter season are largely shaped by those years. In elementry school we had to give up something for those 40 days and at the end of it, write a paper about how the giving up of that thing affected us. my fifth grade teacher really brought the point home for me. She explained that although we were required by the nuns to give something up as an assignment, we should really focus on the reason behind it all. For example, if we choose to give up pop than every time in those 40 days that we wanted a pop, we should instead think about Jesus. If we gave up TV, then every time we went to turn on the TV we should instead pray or read our Bible. She emphaised that the point of us sacraficing something was so that we would have a daily reminder of the sacrafice Jesus made for us.
I have remembered that lesson every lent season. Its not just about giving things up, its about being mindful of Jesus. Remembering that we are getting ready to mourn His death and celebrate His resurrection. He is really what it is all about.
Plus, it seems like everyone gives things up for lent. I encourage you all to use this Lent season to talk to your friends about why they are giving things up. I have found that a lot of my friends over here give things up for 40 days, but dont understand the meaning behind it all. This is a perfect opportunity to talk about Jesus. especially as Easter is coming up, what better time to tell people that Jesus died and rose again for every single one of us. If you had not planned on giving something up, i would encourage you to do so. If for no other reason then it gives you a great opportunity to talk to your friends and explain why you do the things you do. and remember to why it is you are giving things up.