A few years ago there was a book entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the habits is “begin with the end in mind.” It is helpful, when you begin anything, and even when you are well into the process, to know where you want to go. It is helpful to have a purpose, goals and sense of direction. So where are you going this Lent? With what goal did you begin? We all have personal goals, but the Church also proposes one for the whole Church.
At the Easter vigil, we will welcome into the church those who have been preparing for the last year or so. Janell, Madison, and Sydney will make a profession of faith and be initiated through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and first Eucharist. And all of us who have already been initiated will join them and support them by renewing our baptismal commitment. And on Easter Sunday, in place of the creed, all present will also renew their baptismal promises. In many ways, you can think about that moment as the goal, the “end” of Lent. Whatever we have been doing (or not doing) should help make us ready to renew that fundamental commitment that guides our lives as disciples of Jesus. Whatever practice you have chosen for Lent is meant to help you prepare to recommit yourself to being a joyful missionary disciple, more committed to unleashing the Gospel. Lent is about walking more deeply into the waters of our baptismal commitment. Lent is about readying ourselves to re-commit and re-profess our faith. You might think about that in these last days of Lent. What are the concrete implications for me to renew my commitment, here and now, at this time in my life? What does it mean for you, for me, to make this pledge once again?