As the Lenten season ends and as we enter the Holy Week, let us reflect on what we have done during this Lent. The Gospel of according to Mark gives us a beautiful text to reflect upon.
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. - NRSV
As doctors and healthcare providers, we have consciously reminded our patients about healthy diet especially this Lenten season. But that's it. We have treated the Lenten fast as a way to diet instead of a spiritual discipline. We have obviously lost the meaning of the fast, worst, the meaning of Lent. Instead of preparing ourselves and disciplining ourselves during Lent, we have made it a reason to feed on our other desires. Example, since we wanted to fast on meat during Lent, we have made it an excuse to eat seafoods (despite being expensive) all the time. Obviously, seafoods taste much better and it feeds more our desire for (comfort) foods.
The Gospel text tells us of Jesus planning to enter Jerusalem. As Jesus plans to enter, his followers prepare for this event by looking for a colt that Jesus will ride on. The followers obeyed Jesus and prepared for his entry.
As Jesus plans to enter this Holy Week in the Jerusalem of our lives and our hearts, what preparations have we done? The Lenten season was the season to remind us to prepare ourselves, our lives and our hearts for the entry of Jesus. As we remember the great love of God that saved us from sin and death, how did we prepare ourselves? As Christians, we are supposed to be the followers of Jesus tasked to look for the colt for him to ride. Did we follow his plan? Did we go look for the colt for him to ride? Did we follow his plan? Did we obey Jesus? What concrete ways did we do this Lent to prepare for the entry of Jesus?
The way we treated this Lenten season is a testament to how we value and give worth to the grace and love of God highlighted this Holy Week.