Fr. Michael's Thoughts on Biblical Imagery: A Call to Renewal


(Fr Michael Boakye Yeboah: Vice Rector of St Gregory Seminary, Kumasi-Ghana)


            Lent is one the most blessed periods in any calendar or liturgical year. I am not surprised that many Christians call it the season of grace. It is a season that the Lord invites us to journey with him in a special way towards renewal. When one is called to renewal of life, one stands to benefit from its end effects.

            Lent is a period that the Lord invites one to a friendship that transcends all earthly measures. Your renewal is personal and communal, for once renewed you stand to benefit and others will benefit from your witness and ministry. God always renews one to bless many: when he chooses “an Abraham” or “a Moses”, “the Blessed Virgin Mary”, or any Christian; he always does so in order to bless a multitude, fashion a people, form a nation. It took the conversion and faith of Abraham for the whole nation of Israel to be declared as the blessed nation of the Lord. Once the grace of God comes to renew a person, God does something extraordinary for him, so that his word may radiate outward to countless souls and his grace be sought with renewed eagerness. He chooses one not as an isolated exception or arbitrary preference, but as the humble centre around which a great circle will be drawn, a blazing hearth around which many can gather, be warmed, and find fellowship.

            God is calling you to renewal so that once renewed you be a blessing to millions of people. Remember the conversion and renewal of Paul. St. Paul did not stand to benefit alone from his conversion but during his time and even today, his epistles are still a means of renewal for millions of people. I am inviting you this Lent to return to the Lord so that you will be renewed and become a blessing for many.

            To help us on this path of renewal this Lent, St Mark in this Gospel account, highlights to us what we ought to pay attention to. Mark in his account on the Temptation of Jesus, seems to underline the point that anybody who wants to pursue a life or an adventure of goodness and holiness will be tempted by the devil. The devil uses his tricks to distract a Christian from the path that leads to holiness. For a Christian to overcome the tricks and distractions of the devil, (s)he needs to arm himself/herself with some spiritual disciplines, of which fasting is highly recommended. When we talk of fasting, it is not only abstinence from food and drinks. One can fast from too much talking (and embrace silence); reduction of time on the cell phone and internet, etc. Once you are fasting, fill the time for those things you are fasting on with prayer. For example, if you were to have your lunch for an hour, you can use that hour for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament or praying of the Holy Rosary. Any vacuum created should be filled with prayer. You need to saturate your life with prayer, almsgiving, and abstinence.

            In doing these Lenten exercises you may face distractions of all kinds but no matter the type of distractions, be it in the form of “wild beasts” (figuratively), the Lord will send his Angels to guide and direct you. As Angels came to the aid of Jesus so also in our moments of temptation, the Angels will come to our assistance.

            In the spirit of renewal and freshness, the Lord addressed Noah in the first reading that never will he destroy the earth again with water. He made a covenant with Noah and his household that he will renew the earth, make it fresh and habitable again; and he did it. The Lord is always ready to renew your life and restore it to its original innocence and freshness, please give the Holy Spirit a chance in your life. It is your call but remember the words of St Augustine: ‘God created you without you but he will not save you without you.’ Please join me to sing this song: “Let your living water flow over my soul, let your holy spirit come and take control; every situation that has troubled my mind; All my cares and burdens on to you… Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…” Let this be your song today. Have a Blessed and Fruitful Season of Lent.


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