When St. Paul writes, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,” he certainly doesn’t pull any punches! In fact, he makes it abundantly clear that if you are living according to the world’s standards, pursuing your own agenda, and letting your own fleshly desires guide you through life, then you are in fact dead; perhaps even worse than dead: “We were by nature the objects of God’s wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3).
But Lent shows us the way back from death to life – the way of repentance; the way of contrition and faith; the way of Baptism for the forgiveness of sins, newness of life, and eternal salvation. St. Paul continues, “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions”(Ephesians 2:4-5)… And He has delivered this new life to us through Baptism – which is what Lent is all about.
Lent calls us back to the new life God poured out for us in our Baptism. It calls us through repentance to the life of discipleship, hearing God’s Word, receiving God’s gifts, gathering for worship and prayer, serving generously, and telling others about the peace, hope, and joy that is ours in Christ. And it prepares us not only to participate in Christ’s Easter victory when we celebrate His resurrection and receive Him who comes to us in His Body and Blood, but also to partake of the unending feast in His kingdom that awaits all who are Baptized into Him. For “we were buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4).
Come back to life this Lent – Turn back to your Baptism and take your place at the feast of victory that never ends.