Prepare for Sunday Mass: Know where you are going this Lent

Each week in OSV Newsweekly, Carl Olson provides a thoughtful, relevant reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday in his "Opening the Word" column. The following is just an excerpt, but you can read the entire column here.

From Carl Olson:

“When a man leaves on a journey, he must know where he is going,” wrote the Orthodox theologian Father Alexander Schmemann. “Thus with Lent. Above all, Lent is a spiritual journey and its destination is Easter.” It may come as a surprise to some, but the greatest feast of the year is not Christmas; it is Easter, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And, Father Schmemann observed in his book “Great Lent: Journey to Pascha” (St. Vladimir’s Seminary, $16) that “on Easter we celebrate Christ’s resurrection as something that happened and still happens to us.”

By death Christ conquered death, and by his resurrection he granted us new life — supernatural life. And Lent, in many ways, is a journey into the meaning and heart of life.

Today’s first reading describes the beginning of human life: “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” Adam, shaped from dust by the author and giver of life, also had communion with the Creator. Because we know well the story of Adam and Eve eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we can overlook that they were able to eat freely from the tree of life. Life was freely given, but the knowledge of good and evil came at a great price: separation from God, expulsion from Eden and death.

Read Olson's entire column to prepare for Sunday Mass.

Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.