Waow, it’s lent again. Lent started yesterday with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. And in today’s gospel reading, Jesus tells his followers that anyone who wants to become his follower should deny themselves. And I think to myself; yes, I want to follow Jesus, but what does it mean to ‘deny myself’? I do not consider myself to be a bad person, so what about myself would I be denying? Or what would denying myself even entail?
Unfortunately, I do not think that I have a great answer for any of the questions. But the more I think about it, I realize that maybe it means that I should put in a little more (and conscious) effort into being more like Christ in everything that I do. I usually do things my way, the way that suits me, the way I choose. But maybe each time I need to make a decision, instead of going ahead to do it the way I would usually choose to do it, I should think if it is the way Jesus would like me to do it. When situations come, maybe instead of acting or responding the way I usually would, I should try to respond the way Jesus would want me to.
And then I think, how would Jesus want me to respond in any situation? What would he want me to do? Well, I guess he would like me to do what he would do, act in love, be kind, and pray. I may not know everything about Jesus, but I do know a few things, and they are ALL GOOD. Why don’t I try, make a conscious effort to emulate the good qualities of Jesus. Jesus prayed before everything. I could do that too. I will try to pray more, I could try to abstain myself from something pleasant in the spirit of penance. And with the help of Jesus whom I want to emulate, and by the grace of God the father, maybe by little acts of love, in trying to follow Jesus, I just might be denying myself and taking on the image of Jesus. What better time to try to do this then in this season of Lent.