‘Compassionate of heart, gentle in word, gracious in awareness, courageous in thought, generous in love.’ (John O’Donohue)

There is a sense of the light coming back as the days lengthen with the advance of springtime. The harshness of winter is behind us and the promise of summer is ahead. Spring is the in-between time that places us on the threshold of transformation. Lent brings us to a liminal space. It’s the wilderness that Jesus was brought to following his baptism.

Many of us are not unlike the paralysed man who lay by the pool in Bethsaida waiting for someone to help. Some of us might feel we do not need help and that we are strong enough and independent enough to do it all ourselves. Cesar Chavez, who is described as a leader for people who did not have a voice, said, ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’

Jesus was a voice for the voiceless and a light for those who walked in the shadow of darkness. He opened the eyes of people in more ways than one. He brought people to a new understanding of their relationship with God and God’s relationship with them. Jesus saw people that many did not even notice. He saw the man by the crowded pool in Bethsaida and immediately recognised his deepest need. He saw the woman at the well. He saw Zacchaeus. He sees us.

To each he offers the gift of life, new sight and transformation. To each he issues the invitation to a way of life that reaches out to others in service, service to those who are made poor and are on the margins of society. This lenten period is an opportunity for us to heed that invitation.

Let us see the need that is around us. Let us be courageous of thought. Let us choose to be a light for those who walk in darkness. Let us step across the threshold to transformation.

‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ (Cesar Chavez)

READ: A Spring Blessing – Joyce Rupp & Macrina Wiederkehr

WATCH: Jesus heals the man by the pool at Bethsaida

CONSIDER: Lent in a bag