A Lenten Pull


(A Lenten pull, a Lenten prompt, a Lenten push!)
The pull, the prompt, the push into the Redemptive Suffering of Jesus.
An irresistible draw to the unavoidable Passion of the Christ.
The pull into how passive and active Jesus was from the Garden to the Cross –

How he was arrested, pulled, scorched, slapped, crowned, forced…
How he was undressed, nailed, fed, mocked, taken down, buried… raised!
What a pull to marvel at the passivity and submissiveness in Redemption
And active participation in the same for the Salvation of others.

Is not the pull and prompt and push:
Less about crucifying and more about being crucified?
Less about curiosity and more about contemplation?
Less about sadism and more about sacrifice?
Less about sensationalism and more about resilience?
Less about sin and more about soteriology or grace?

What a pull to Churches every day or every other day in the mornings or evenings,
To the time honoured traditional Stations of the Cross or the Eucharistic Sacrifice –
To imitate Veronica, the women of Jerusalem, the Cyrenian – ever wondered why so many turn up
To stand with Mother Mary at the foot of the Cross,
To contemplate love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, sacrifice, peace, mystery?
For “behold I makes all things new”!

It’s a Lenten pull, a Lenten prompt, a Lenten push, to follow the Crucified and Risen Saviour!
It’s penitential, it’s sacramental, it’s redemptive, it’s salvific!
We adore you O Christ and we bless you!  Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world!
Only in this pull and prompt is penance, fasting, prayer, almsgiving, charity meaningful or powerful!
Only in this prompt and push is moral, material, spiritual and emotional detox possible and powerful!
Only in this participation in the mysteries does our fight against spiritual evils bear fruits with minds made new!
Only in this hope, this Kerygma are we, the living, the dead and the dying, saved – Spe Salvi! Evangelii Gaudium!

Emmanuel Mbeh MHM

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