With the start of Lent, we stop using one word, “Alleluia” (we’ll tuck that one away until Easter), and start using another word, perhaps more than we should: “repent.” This word can conjure up many emotions, such as shame or guilt, or it may bring to mind images of a penitent soul kneeling, desperately begging for mercy. The truth is that all of these feelings and images obscure the original meaning of the word “repent”: to have a change of heart.
Repentance looks to the past, while a change of heart looks toward the future. Imagine the power of this season if we let this idea grow in our heart – that as we issue calls of repentance in our liturgy, we think not of who we were or what we have done, but instead we think about what God might be calling us to do, we ponder who God is calling us to be, and we consider how God is calling us to bring peace to this turbulent world of ours. May your Lenten journey move you forward to a deeper relationship with the Living Christ.