Lent: A time for pilgrimage

March 03, 2011

The world is changing and moving in directions never before seen. We see the world turning and moving forward. Look at what has happened in Egypt and Libya. Many say that it is a political revolution at hand while others may conclude that perhaps a spiritual stirring has visited the people and they have been touched by hope.

This is what happens when God shows up!

In the face of hopelessness, there comes the realization that the situation at hand demands more than what we have and what we can do all by ourselves. Our capacity to save ourselves is beyond ourselves. We look for new direction and a profound purpose. For Christians, we seek the Savior, the Redeemer, the Liberator – Jesus Christ. This urging to seek Jesus is a life-long journey. During Lent, however, we make the conscious decision to walk in his light because it is too slippery and too dangerous to walk in this dark world without Jesus. Our God can make the crooked ways straight. Lent can become that opportunity to gain a new direction in life and a rich purpose built on a relationship with Christ.

’Tis the season to get it right with Christ. The church and its liturgical theology realizes that there comes a time in each Christian’s life that the urge to seek salvation is so intense. This desire to take a closer walk with Jesus is compelling. As we journey through this Lenten season, may I propose this pilgrimage.

Let us follow Jesus with his people through the “Inter-Church Spiritual and Cultural Lenten Pilgrimage.” Let us move with Jesus as Jesus steps out of eternity to fulfill an eternal accomplishment – the salvation of humankind. Let us travel together with Jesus. Let us go on a spiritual and cultural journey in the Catholic Church. Let us pray the Stations of the Cross and ask questions, exploring our spiritual and cultural journey in the Catholic Church. Let us accept the personal invitation extended by Christ to grow and pray, to search and discern a deeper understanding of the ultimate truth of redemption in Jesus the Christ. Let us allow Jesus to push us toward higher ground this Lenten season.

Join other parishes during five Fridays in Lent in this “Inter-Church Spiritual and Cultural Lenten Pilgrimage” and perhaps a spiritual uprising will promote a spiritual transformation within ourselves and our communities. Here are the stops along the journey. Each will include the Stations of the Cross, at 6 p.m., followed by Reflections and Repast, concluding at 8 p.m.

First stop: March 18, St. Gregory the Great Church, Baker and Gilmore streets.

Second stop: March 25, historic St. Francis Xavier Church and Caroline and Oliver streets.

Third stop: April 1, St. Peter Claver Church, Fremont and Pennsylvania avenues.

Fourth stop: April 8, St. Veronica Church in Cherry Hill, 806 Cherryhill Road.

Fifth stop: April 15, Transfiguration Catholic Community, Hamburg and Scott streets.

Our direction can become clear during Lent and our purpose can become richer if we put our whole heart and soul into our walk with Christ. St. Augustine of Hippo says, “You cannot think your way to God, or use wisdom alone. You must use your heart.”

As Scripture tells us, “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.”


Therese Wilson Favors is Director of the Office of African American Catholic Ministries.