It was a very cold winter morning. My husband, our baby daughter, and I were in the car on our way from Pennsylvania relatives to home in Connecticut. We did not get very far on the highway when the fan belt on the car broke. This was before the days of cellphones. My husband pulled over and walked down a nearby exit ramp to find a place to phone his father to come and help us. It worked out fine, but the incident taught my husband a big lesson. From then on, he carried an extra fan belt, a box of many tools, and extra oil in the trunk of our car whenever we took a trip.
“Be prepared” is the motto of the Boy Scouts, and being prepared is a good idea for all of us, even though technology can bring help for any problem quite quickly nowadays.
It seems as if, in everyday life, we are always preparing for something. Most of the time we have advance notice of an exam we will be taking, a dinner we will be serving, an appointment we have made. We can plan our preparation. Sometimes, unexpected things happen; that’s when we need to have our “tools” in our trunks.
Right now, we are preparing to celebrate something wonderful: Easter and the Easter season. Lenten liturgy readings recount miracles Jesus performed, his teachings about love and the laws, the mission and identity of Jesus, and the plots to kill Jesus. We get ready for the miracle of Easter by appreciating all Jesus’ did in preparation for his crucifixion and death that redeemed us.
How can we personally prepare to celebrate? What prejudicial blindness or attitudes can we purposely dismiss from our lives? What small acts of love can we introduce into our lives? Can we identify Jesus when he speaks to us in our hearts as we pray and meditate more earnestly? Can we work harder at our firm purpose of amendment of our sinful behavior? Is it possible to be joyful while repentant as we realize again how much Jesus loves us and how much the Father mercifully loved us by sending his Son as our Savior?
We should be prepared for opposition from the devil. He does not want us to draw closer to Jesus during Lent, Easter, or any other time. We should keep our prayer “toolbox” ready! We can pray to our Blessed Mother and ask her to pray for us. We might ask the Holy Spirit to show us truth and inspire us. Jesus knows how crafty Satan can be and is waiting for us to faithfully call on him for help. St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (10:13) tells us,
No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
As we get closer to Easter, let us pray for our families and friends and encourage them to do what we are striving to do:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 16-18)
Photo by Tekton on Upsplash
The scripture passage is from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.