I try to stay away from religious and political commentary on my weekly writings of the KellyGram. However, my reflections on Ash Wednesday as I attended the noon service at my beloved home church, St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, compelled me to share with you my some of my takeaways.
I deeply respect the founding principles of our great nation for religious freedom, and that those who read this KellyGram are from all walks of faith. I believe, however, that the following principles of Lent are applicable to all of us, for the betterment of our community citizenship and of ourselves as individuals.
Primarily, Lent is a time of cleansing and self-examination. During these next 40 days of Lent, I plan to examine my own failings, shortcomings, bad habits, and reflect on whom I have wronged over this last year. This will, no doubt, take some time, some prayer, and some pain! I suggest we all can benefit from humbling ourselves by engaging in a rigorous process of self-examination and taking actionable steps to be better people. I am a very blessed man, and I take for granted so many advantages that God has given me on an hourly, if not minute-by-minute, basis. Giving something up for Lent originates with Jesus’s 40 days of fasting, and has applicability to all of us, no matter what our faith. I have elected to give up something for Lent this year which will remain personal to me, but there are other ways Lent can impact our behavior and daily living. In yesterday’s Homily, our interim rector, Rev. Tom Nicoll, talked about self-examination and what comes next. Some may decide not to give up anything (a truly personal choice) but instead decide to add ‘something’ into their daily lives, such as: taking on a civic project, reestablishing contact with an old friend, helping the elderly, the poor and the downtrodden. Not just for a day, but for the Lenten Season, and possibly longer! The opportunities right here in our own community, are endless. I invite your own individual thoughts.