We are in the season of Lent - a time of preparation of our Lord's death, and also a time of hope because of his resurrection. We fast and do without (or at least some do, I missed it this year), in understanding the austerity of the life of God born Man and his sacrifice and redemption. We take this time to lean more on him.
Reflections of death are a little too close to home this year for comfort, but then again Jesus did not ask us to be comfortable. Today, March 23, 2010, should have been my father's 57th birthday. It was Easter of last year, Resurrection Sunday, that he passed away riding his Harley. He went doing what he loved, and nobody else was hurt, he didn't even have an accident. For that we are thankful.
In this time of Lent, and on this day, I (Kevin) reflect upon death in a new, confused yet hopeful light. In the Eucharist, we remember Christ's death and resurrection. So Lent is a time of reflection, and while death is deeply disturbing to our very souls, resurrection is hope.
I take this day as a day to remember my father. His death is deeply disturbing to my soul, but his memory and the man whom he was in his successes and failures gives me good hope. I can be sad, but still rejoice. This to me is the tension of Lent, now brought a little too close to home.
It is the tension of the Gospel - hope through death, joy in a contrite spirit, the loss of loved ones but being secure in the memory of who they are - that spells out the Kingdom of God clearly. It is for this reason that we celebrate Lent in reflection, and for us, as cross-cultural missionaries, it is our vocation to live this reflection daily to proclaim the very Kingdom of God that turns the world upside-down.