Spring will soon be upon us! The Vernal equinox this year is 20th March – less than two weeks away. Days will become longer than nights. A range of traditions are attached to this time: the first sowing, letting cattle out onto the fields, honouring the fertile earth and so on. Many people do their Spring Cleaning around now – not much of a celebration perhaps, but a time when we can let the Spring warmth air our homes. Garden centres come into their own as garden sheds are cleared out, plants renewed, lawns treated, paths swept. A time to celebrate rebirth – which is what we will soon be celebrating with our Easter Eggs; a time for Resurrection! Christ is buried underground on Good Friday and bursts the tomb on Easter Sunday! A new sowing indeed!
So now is a period of getting ready mentally too. Jesus told this story of the wise and the foolish
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
Let us make sure we are ready to receive our Lord afresh! Here is a prayer which might help:
Lord, in this holy season of Lent, grant us a change of heart
that we might turn away from sin and follow your Son’s Gospel.
We ask you to fill us with a hunger for what is just.
By your grace, may our lives become more deeply rooted in prayer,
self-sacrifice and a willingness to share,
in order that your Reign of justice might more fully flourish in our hearts
when we greet your risen Son at Easter.
We ask you this, through Christ our Lord.