Amidst the crisis that we are going through, we probably feel we have so much to bear and we already have enough of sacrifice. What else do we have to sacrifice?, we might ask.

There may be some of us who are exhausted with the routine of things and are tempted to give up. There may be some who just let things be without even realizing any meaning in existing or living.

As we begin the Lenten observance with the mark of ashes today, we are called to take our life journey more meaningfully this time. We have a life to live and there is the urgency to discover that there are more fundamental realities of life than those we have been used to do or those we want to do. Our life has to be lived more meaningfully—NOW.

A meaningful life means a life lived in sharing. The temptation to secure our own lives as we face the many threats to life may have preoccupied us all. While it is necessary to take care of ourselves, we should not forget that we are called to offer our lives in the spirit of charity and service. Genuine love and service are expressed in varied forms at all times. The authenticity of such love and service comes from a heart that is not tainted by any selfish agenda or self-consumed investment. As we purify our hearts, sincere acts of charity as we serve others spring anew and make life ever wonderful. Let us enjoy those simple moments of sharing and never grow tired of doing such acts.

Life is meaningful when we live with the Lord. This is a prayer-filled life. When we go through our day with the consciousness that the compass of our lives is directed to the Lord and the Lord Himself directs us, then life finds greater joy. We behold the saints who, amidst the pains and troubles, still find the inner joy of living. Prayer is not merely that particular moment when we encounter the Lord in the liturgy; it is every moment that comes as a fruit of prayer. The energy to go about the daily tasks, no matter how routine these may have become, is there when the Lord is our inspiration—from Him we begin our day, with Him we journey through the day, and in Him we submit our day. The Lord, alone, is the reason for the wonder of each day.

Letting go for the sake of a higher good and the good of others would make us smile and find life meaningful. Sacrifice is not just about pain, it is more about that which we value. Even if we go through pain if this is brought about by self-inflicted cause or unwarranted failure, then there is not much good in it. If pain comes about because we care for someone or something greater than ourselves then we gain the cause of Heaven. We let go when we must even when it hurts because the reason for a truly higher good is worthy. In the end, we shall see “something more” along the journey of life; and the fulfillment shall be immeasurably significant.

The forty days ahead of us are days of finding meaning along the journey of life. As St. Paul reminds us of now as “a very acceptable time”, let us seize this time realizing that life is worth-living when shared with others, lived in God, and given-up for the real good.

May we have a meaningful life journey now, in this time of Lent, and always.

Scientia Maxime Cum Virtute