Whew! It’s Holy Saturday, and we’ve made it through another Lent. Whether we did as well as we had hoped, exceeded our own expectations, or fell sadly short of our goal, we did it. Now we can look forward to again having all those goodies we gave up for 40 days, throwing off our penances and strivings, and going back to life as usual. Perhaps we’re looking forward to again having that one thing that was hardest for us to stay away from; perhaps we can’t decide what we want to partake of first. Maybe, we just want to do it all at once, throwing caution to the wind and reveling in the things we’ve missed. That’s good, in a way, because it shows that we truly appreciate God’s goodness and the value of his creation.
But, is that what we really want to do? We’ve just spent six weeks of the calendar year working hard to refine our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies. Hopefully, we took great pain to choose the Lenten resolutions that would dig deepest into our hearts, into our selfishness and rebelliousness. Lent is about transformation, and the things we choose to do and/or give up are meant to facilitate that change. If we just go back to the way things were before, we risk losing any ground we’ve gained over the past weeks. In that case, we may as well have not had any Lent at all!
As we move forward in the liturgical year, and return to Ordinary Time, I wonder if we could make it “Extraordinary Time” by continuing our Lenten attitude of striving, refining, and growing in God’s love. Rather than letting go of all that we’ve accomplished during Lent, let’s take it along with us as we continue our faith journey into the coming year. It’s okay to think, “Whew! I made it!” Better yet, let’s think, “Whew! I’m making it!”