Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mt 11: 28-30)

As I enter the second week of Lent, I’m wondering whether Lent itself is part of the “burden” or “yoke” Christ is talking about. Is it?

Well, it can be, if it is “easy” and “light.” Because that is how our Lord defines His “yoke” and “burden.” He invites us to take these up in “meekness” and “humility in heart.” So, if I take up Lent in meekness and humility, picking up its simple tools without stressing out about them, I find that Lent brings me out of my own brand of “labor” and being “heavy laden,” with its self-imposed “musts” and “needs.” Lent gives me “rest” from my usual routine, offering me a routine not self-imposed, and filled with meaning and purpose. It is a meaning and purpose above and beyond my immediate stress, the meaning and purpose of which is not always clear.

This Monday I once again embrace the meaning and purpose of Lent, which is a re-focusing on a God-centered life, a “change of mind” (metanoia) according to a humble self-acceptance, according to my God-given possibilities or “vocation.” Lord, renew in me a right Spirit today, and help me learn from You, that I may find rest for my soul. Amen! (This reflection is from our Lenten Guidebook, heretofore available only to Patreon-subscribers, but NOW available as a digital download here at our website’s Gift Shop!)