Before you decide what to give up for Lent this year, I want you to consider something very important. Don’t forget Easter. Easter is the end of Lent. Easter gives meaning to Lent, indeed to time itself. Easter celebrates the greatest joy known to man: new life! Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our invitation to share in the mystery of God’s life and love. Easter is the reason for the season of Lent.
The second habit of Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is called “Begin with the End in Mind.” Covey writes, “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction” (p. 98).
We don’t earn the right to rise with Christ during Lent. There is no amount of candy, pop, fast foods, TV, and internet fasting that will prove our holiness. Neither will extra prayers make us worthy of salvation. This, we will be reminded of during the Ash Wednesday liturgy.
But our prayers, fasting, and almsgiving are opportunities to prepare for the Easter Rising. We do these things as RSPVs for the Resurrection. We take up our crosses daily because we know, like Jesus knew, that we will rise again.
This season of Lent – no matter what you decide to give up or take on – don’t forget Easter. The end gives meaning to the journey.