by Kainoa Fukumoto
Around this time every year, we often start asking the question, “what should I give up or do for Lent”. I already started asking this very question. There were certain years that I gave up meat, chocolate, coffee, and yes, even alcohol for the whole season. I’ve made Lenten promises to set aside time each day for intentional prayer, attend daily Mass, and go to adoration more frequently. I’ve also done other not specifically spiritual exercises such as limiting what I spend money on, limiting how I spend money, or unplugging from social media. All of these are great things, but I want to challenge us to something even greater this year.
This Lent, I’d like to propose something slightly different. Continue asking the question of what you’re giving up or what you’ll do differently, but challenge yourself to make it a little more “radical”. For example, if you plan to give up meat everyday, perhaps make an intentional effort every week to also personally reach out to and help feed the hungry such as the poor and homeless. If you plan to pray more, perhaps make an intentional effort to lead prayer at gatherings, such as at family events or ministry meetings, if you’re never one to do so. If you plan to unplug from social media, perhaps consider intentionally reaching out to, reconnecting, and actually meeting up with people who you haven’t kept in touch with regularly especially those who no longer come to church or who you may need to reconcile with.
Perhaps the most radical part of committing to this is a sacrifice of our time. To be a true follower of Christ (a.k.a. a Christian) requires us to give Jesus our whole heart and lives so that He can transform us and mold us into a more perfect creation of our Creator. In order for us to allow that to happen, we need to sacrifice our own desires and especially sacrifice our time to Christ so that He can be ever present in us, and we can be Ever Present In Christ (EPIC). This year, I challenge you to a more radical Lent than you ever had before, and I guarantee that Jesus will radically change you when Easter arrives.