The Grammar of Lent
Starting with Life…
Death is the moment of supreme detachment; the moment in which we are called to hand back our life to the One from whom we received it.
But death is not restricted to our final moment here on earth; it accompanies us throughout our life. We are called to die over and over again. We die when we truly love others because love means dying to self-centeredness, to the temptation to possess life.
An adult, a parent, knows what it means to die because he/she is continually called to step aside in order to make space for someone else. But many people continue to live as adolescents, making their own needs the center of everything.
A person truly lives only when he/she is ready to die.
Listening to the Word…
The transition from the Old to the New Testament is precisely a matter of death. In the Old Testament, death is represented by the sacrifice of a lamb. At their last supper in Egypt, before they were freed from slavery, the Jews killed a lamb and ate it. They were commanded to repeat that act every year so as to relive their liberation experience.
In the New Testament, Jesus is the new Lamb, sacrificed for us once and for all, in order that we might nourish ourselves with his life.
Jesus is the adult who dies so as to make space for those he loves.
Where can we find the word “death” in the Bible?
I Samuel 2:6:
The Lord puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world;
he raises up again.
We must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.
• In your opinion, what does it mean to love “to the very end”?
• Do you love like an adult or like an adolescent?