Already we stand, accused with Christ!
Today, as with many to come, we are reaching into the grace of God following his Son as he walks the Via Dolorosa. Is it easy to walk with the palms of love, on the very path that opens to all?
Will the evil spirits of Satan allow us to drift through these early days without hardship or unbelief waiting until the final hour when Jesus encounters Satan the second time of doubt, the Garden of Gethsemane? Be assured, there never was nor shall there ever be a time when evil takes a vacation from tearing down an opportunity to betray our trust in God’s plan for salvation.
Two days ago we wore a sign of shame reminding each one that we are sinners and bowing in sackcloth for the very discretions we’d adhered to. Satan now jumps at the opportunity to attack our weakness by erasing that symbol of humility and raising the theme, "You see all these treasures before you, bow to me and they all can be yours.” (Mt. 4: 7 -9).
The moment we relax after receiving ashes as acceptance to wear the cloak of humility there will be beside us one of the devil’s evil spirits tugging at our shirt tails to look at the weakness of our own spirit.
As the road to Calvary is not just for Jesus, it will also be filled with many obstructions like pitfalls that promise us pleasure and satisfaction that one day like Ash Wednesday was enough for now. Sacrifice is more than just refusing an item we adhere to, it is also the very manner we use to reach out to those around us that have not quite entered the society of true followers of Christ who wear the sign of chosen disciples that carry the same cross of Jesus; willingness to stand before satan and say; “The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” (Mt 4: 10).
Lent can be like a picture hanging on the wall of your home, depicting the day when Mary Magdalene was surprised but elated to see her Christ standing before her, freed from the bondage of death and freeing us from eternal death through our own resurrection. The 40 days of Lent is a prelude to this day, the very promise of our Father, God.
Ralph B. Hathaway