To thrive during the season of Lent, we remember our baptism and prepare for living it out. In baptism, we’re called into the three-fold ministry of Christ: priest, prophet, and king. Many in our assembly may need guidance in understanding this ministerial call, as well as being invited, equipped, and empowered to live it out in their daily life.
Like athletes training for their chosen sport, we exercise the muscles of our baptismal call to strengthen our ability to “play.” During Lent, we practice the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving—a perfect training model and exercise plan for baptismal living.
- Prayer invites us into conversion with God and helps us to strengthen our priestly identity. The core definition of a priest is “one who makes a sacrifice.” This means we are called to be an example of charity and love to those we meet, as we respect and make present that which is holy. When we engage in the practice of prayer, we reflect on our ability to be a witness to holy living and practical charity.
- Fasting encourages our own conversion and an embracing of our prophetic mission. In biblical times, the prophet was a witness to the truth, challenging others to hear a message of truth. This mission remains the same for us. As prophets, we stand up for the oppressed, seek peace and justice, and embody love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Ultimately, the prophet is one who seeks to be the voice of God and to share his light among all people. When we fast, we are making room in our life for God to make his presence known in our midst. In allowing his presence to fill us more deeply, we are able to accept the truth of the Gospel, then proclaim it in our words and actions.
- Almsgiving challenges us towards conversion in our relationships with others and prepares us to live our kingly call. A king is a ruler, but Christ gave us the model of servant leadership. As kings, we model this servant leadership and discipleship, leading others to Christ, and showing care and concern to those we meet and those in need. In almsgiving, we seek to build the kingdom of God through our service to others.
During Lent, as we engage in these disciplines this Lent, let’s consider…
- Set aside a regular (or extra) time for prayer.
- Sit in silence and allow God to speak to your heart.
- Consider what it means to show holiness in our daily life.
- Reflect on the ways we are called and able to show love to others.
- Select one or two things we can fast from, or decrease the time we spend on them, so that create new space for God to fill us. Consider extracurricular activities, social media, technology, music, etc.
- If fasting from food, begin and end your fast in prayer.
- Identify additional ways to be attentive to God’s presence in your life.
- Reflect on how your words and deeds show Christ to others.
- Identify one need in your local community you can respond to during this season.
- Advocate for those who may be disadvantaged in your community.
- Sponsor a food or clothing drive.
- Reflect on how your servant leadership builds the kingdom of God.
By adopting these Lenten habits, we are strengthening our understanding of our baptismal call. When we reach Easter and its season of renewal, our muscles will be trained and we will be prepared to be priests, prophets, and kings in our communities. May this season of preparation bear great fruit in your life and in your community preparation bears great fruit in your life and in your community!
Rosina Hendrickson is a member of Vibrant Faith’s Coaching Team, and she’s the Lifelong Faith and Lay Ministry Formation Coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Davenport, Iowa. She also facilitates STEP courses through the University of Notre Dame, a platform for online adult formation.