And so we find ourselves in the season of Lent, -the time when humans remember how Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, both fasting and fending off the attentions of Satan.
Fast-forward the clock by more than 2000 years, and many humans still like to show their solidarity with Jesus by giving up something that they usually enjoy. So that might be chocolate or alcohol or even television, -for 40 long days and nights.
Parrots are a bit less introverted than humans and view Lent differently. We’re prefer to be spontaneous, fun-loving extroverts. And while there’s nothing wrong in honouring what Jesus did, and in trying to emulate Him in some small way, we don’t believe that Lent should just be about the self-denial of nice, worldly things. I mean, what’s the point in giving something up if you then go back to it again on Easter morning? No, Lent should also be very much about love. About us allowing God’s love to come inside us so that it helps to direct our thoughts, our wishes and our actions. Because Jesus’ resolve in the desert didn’t simply come from His own focus and determination. His real armour was the love of God inside Him. It was this love which made Him strong and resilient. In fact, His whole desert experience was rooted in love.
So what’s the real work of Lent? What should we all be trying to do right now? Well, this small bundle of feathers believes that we should be learning to love, and more importantly, learning what to love. And we should be learning what to hold onto and what to let go of for the long-term. It can also be about asking the question who and what we are; what have we become and where are we going? And who’s set the moral boundaries of our lives? Is it us? The world? Or God? If we can only make this our Lent experience, then our Lent can go beyond the 40 days and nights. In fact, it can change our lives and last a whole lifetime!
“Lent is a call to renew, a commitment grown dull, perhaps by a life more marked by routine than by reflection.”
(Sister Joan Chittister: 1936-present: American Benedictine nun, theologian and author)
“Lent is about becoming, doing and changing whatever i is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now.”