Lent Is a Time to “Wash-Up”
When my Mom did the family wash, she always hung it in our back yard. She not only wanted our wash to be clean, but she wanted it to smell fresh. My sisters and I were her pride and joy, and making us look clean and fresh were signs of her love for us. Our fresh smelling clothes showed all how precious we were to her. Lent is that precious time, when Jesus does the “family” wash. During this season of the year, He washes away whatever dirt we have accumulated and makes us fresh and clean again. Why? It’s simple. We are all Jesus’ pride and joy, and He wants everyone to look the part.
Yet, often instead of embracing Jesus' gentle, cleansing action, we resist Him. We even pretend we don’t see Him. We are too embarrassed about our bad choices-choices that take us far from Jesus instead of closer.
We don’t want Jesus to see our many acts of greed, hear our hurtful words, or know our seemingly never ending pile of shortcomings. What we don’t remember is that Jesus never turns away from those He loves. And that’s the truth. He died to show us how much He loves us, and now waits patiently for us to embrace this.
Pope Francis, in this year of Mercy, remarks: “For as long as we are alive it is possible to start over, all we have to do is let Jesus embrace us and forgive us.”
When Jesus washes us in His mercy, He restores the dignity and worth given us on the day of our baptism. He smiles at us seeing with His heart, and from there gazes only at our beauty and what we can yet become.
During this Lenten season, open ourselves to Jesus’ washing, to be scrubbed with grace and become dazzlingly bright in the glare of God’s promises of eternal life. It will add sparkle to every present moment we live.
St. Francis de Sales says it this way--"Our Lord did not say: 'Love only the good!' He said, 'Love one another as I have loved you’---meaning exclude no one!" Let’s try it and see how Jesus' love and mercy can make everyone we know clean and fresh-one washing at a time.