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Friday, March 02, 2012
It is the second Friday of Lent, a time that is not usually celebrated as much as it is observed. For some reason Christmas is more popular than Easter. It could be that way because during Advent, the preparation time for Christmas, has many fun activities, like baking cookies, decorating trees, hanging up socks and singing. What do we do to get ready for Easter? We give up a luxury, or try to at least. Our Catholic friends give up meat on Friday. That is hard for me to do. Not because giving up meat is hard, but sometimes I forget it's Friday until it's too late.
We in America, even the poorest of us, may not realize just how blessed we are. We have choices. We have the choice to give up something for Lent. Nobody forces us. In my case, I've given up talking about politics. It hasn't really been that hard, but I have had to sidestep quite a bit. But it was my own choice. In many other countries, fear keeps the mouths of people closed. If I say something, the first amendment protects me, or rather the recognition of that right. I gave up the right to speak freely, nobody forced me. That is truly what makes America great.
Giving up Meat on Friday is another choice. In America, meat is readily available to anyone with the means to get it. That is not true everywhere! There are places where eating regularly is indeed a luxury. Even the poorest person in this country has access to food through soup kitchens and food pantries if need be. Distribution of food is not as easy in the third world.
And so I celebrate Lent by giving up what I take for granted during the rest of the year. Will I make it until Easter? Time will tell. But if I don't, it was my decision. There are those aren't as blessed as I am. And because I know how blessed I am. I celebrate by choosing to suffer, just like Jesus chose to suffer during the first Lent, back in the New Testament times. Just like we never miss the water until the well goes dry, we never know how blessed we are until we give up that blessing. Lent is an interesting season!
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