Electronic Prayer Book

The Spiritual Meaning of the Days of Lent

4.3 Third Sunday in Lent

Poverty and loneliness terrify mankind. Lack of food, clothing and shelter spells human misery; lack of friends causes human despair. The strong human hand is able to win wealth; the warm human heart wins friends. But lack of divine companionship is much more devastating than material deprivations. Only the “right hand of God’s Majesty” extended over us can fulfill the “desires of God’s servants” and constitute the “defense” for which we pray in today’s Collect. Only as we are “children of God, walking in love” can we escape spiritual poverty and loneliness.

St. Paul asks us to “walk in love” and tells us that the “Light of Christ” enables us to “walk as children of light.” By praying the Liturgy we “walk in the Love of Christ” and in the Light of Christ, Who is Himself both Love and Light. Lent is a time of divine activity; in the Lenten Liturgy we see Christ contending against the powers of darkness. As members of Christ’s Mystical Body, we too must be active in the things of the Spirit; must perform our part in the war against the Devil.

During Lent we must diligently practise penance, that we may cast out the demon of selfishness, in imitation of the selflessness of Christ. Lent is also a time during which we must increase our prayers for others, forgive the offenses of others and help to carry the burdens of others. If, during Lent, we suffer and die with Christ, we will be worthy to rise with Him at Easter. “The season of fasting opens the gates of Paradise.”