I have seen plenty of snow over the years here in Connecticut, including the past couple of weeks. After the recent accumulations, several snowmen have appeared, and they got me to thinking about what a Lenten snowman might be like.
The bottom section of such a snowman would have to be a good foundation so that it could hold up the rest of the body. During Lent, we are reminded in the readings at liturgies of many of the truths that are the foundation of our gift of faith concerning the Kingdom of God. For example, in St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians (6:2) we read about what God has said:
“‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!”
So God’s gift of salvation through Jesus is our firm foundation. We will also be reading about Christ proclaiming Peter as the rock, the foundation, on which Jesus is building his Church (Matthew 16). And in Chapter 6 of Matthew’s Gospel, we receive a wonderful foundational prayer—Lord’s Prayer.
Now we move on to the middle section of our snowman, the part of the body where the heart would be. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews (3:7-8) cautions us,
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, as on the day of testing in the wilderness….’”
So our Lenten snowman will not have a hardened heart but a generous heart that is open to forgiving others, sharing from any abundance, and repenting for sinfulness. This snowman’s heart has to be very warm on the inside, heeding what we will read at Mass in Matthew’s Gospel (7:12):
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”
He should even let his heart melt to the point of loving his enemies, as we will be reminded, also in Matthew’s Gospel (5:43-48.)
We come to the topmost section of our snowman where his brain would reside, where we humans make choices and decisions. Let us hope this frosty creation of ours would use his brain to avoid sinful choices and tap into his gift of creativity to find ways of coming closer to the Lord and sharing the Lord with others. Using his eyes to see, ears to hear, and mouth to proclaim the joy of Christ’s resurrection after his saving passion and death. With this in mind, we might give our snowman an anticipatory smile.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Our Lenten snowman should stand for 40 days, weather permitting. He could serve as a cool reminder of how ordinary things can bring our scattered, busy lives into focus with the purpose of loving and being grateful to the King of our heavenly kingdom and to his Son.
If we intentionally build a good spiritual plan, perhaps we will be humbly transformed, or somehow draw closer to our Lord during this holy season as we read again of the marvelous transfiguration of Jesus on that high mountain (Mark 9:2-10). Arm in branch-arm with our Lenten snowman, and despite all the frustration and anxiety that the pandemic has caused, we might be able to repeat the words of Peter when he said to Jesus:
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!....” (verse 5a)
Photo by Cristian Tarzi on Upslash.
The scripture passages are 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.