"Inner renewal and active commitment: The call of Lent in the face of the complexity of the contemporary world", by Father Eduardo Duque

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 - 10:15

We live in an era of unprecedented complexity, in which the ability to interpret, anticipate and adapt to the present is becoming a significant challenge for all of us. The current tendency to simplify our understanding of society through purely quantitative assessments is proving insufficient to capture its inherent complexity. This reality emphasises the need to adopt a more comprehensive theoretical perspective that is capable of offering holistic and integrated interpretations of social phenomena in their various contexts. This approach requires a reconceptualisation of reality that takes into account virtualities, risks, exclusions and simulations, challenging us to accept plurality and uncertainty as fundamental components of freedom and pluralism in contemporary society.

Against this backdrop, Lent stands out as a liturgical season of profound significance for personal and collective transformation. It invites us to reflect on the value of true freedom, spiritual renewal and solidarity, challenging us to renounce modern "slavery", such as materialism and indifference to the suffering of others. Thus, this liturgical season becomes an exhortation to embark on a journey of inner renewal, which equips us to face complex reality with greater authenticity and hope, fully embracing the opportunities for meaningful evolution in both the personal and collective spheres.

Pope Francis emphasises Lent as a time of grace, which calls us to real transformation, initiated by the desire to confront reality in an authentic way, listening and responding to suffering with love and concrete actions. This period should not be faced with a spirit of resignation, but rather lived with the joy and hope born of spiritual discernment, motivating us to improve as individuals through concrete gestures for the benefit of others, even when this requires personal sacrifice.

The practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent represents a journey of openness and divestment, preparing us to receive the love of God and our neighbour with an open heart. This time offers us the opportunity to "wash our souls clean" by promoting justice, kindness and greater solidarity with those who suffer, whether around us or in war-torn lands.

In addition, Lent challenges us to come out of inertia, to draw closer to God and to gain spiritual "height" capable of transforming our perception of the world and of others. The Pope's call to recognise joy, smell the fragrance of freedom and spread the love that renews everything should resonate deeply in our hearts, encouraging us to be agents of change, to rethink our lifestyles, to care for creation and to include those who are often marginalised.

In conclusion, we can say that Lent invites us to a journey of inner renewal and greater active commitment, encouraging us to live an existence characterised by authenticity, love and solidarity, facing the complexity of the world we live in without simplifying things.