Most wake-up calls are not pleasant. I’m talking about the kind of wake-up calls associated with having a heart attack, getting pulled over for DUI, losing a job you thought you’d have forever, losing a loved one, experiencing a financial loss, or having a close relative or friend attempt suicide. Such wake-up calls are a kick in the gut that compel us to pause and reflect on our lives and consider making significant changes in our perspective, our behavior, or our attitude.
The good news, however, is that we don’t have to experience something painful to have a wake-up call. At any point in our life, we can pause, take stock, review and evaluate, and make changes. That’s called repentance, and it is the call that Jesus led with when he proclaimed the Good News. “’The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1:15)
The season of Lent is designed to be a less-jolting wake-up call: a prayerful opportunity to reassess and reprioritize our lives in order to place God at the center. Let’s not wait for some kick-in-the-gut moment to experience a wake-up call when Lent offers us the same opportunity with much less pain!
As always, Loyola Press offers a number of resources and opportunities for getting the most from your Lenten experience. In particular, don’t miss the annual Lenten read-along as we read The Life of Jesus by Andrea Tornielli, giving us time to ponder prayerfully how Jesus is calling us to repent. And for your classroom, check out the popular 40 Ideas for 40 Days.
May this Lent be our wake-up call!