Saturday, June 20, 2015

Living Lent

     Why would Jesus love kids? I never tried to understand until this happened. Ever since Claire was born, my wife and I had made it a point to keep talking to her about Jesus and the bible. We knew that one day she would understand. Little did I know Jesus’ plan for me. It was me who needed to know something very profound. Just after she turned 3 in 2014, we visited the Lourdes shrine at Litchfield. She had for the first time realized that Jesus had died on Good Friday and risen up on Easter Sunday and she had a number of questions about it. After the liturgy, I took Claire on top of the hillock where the 14 stations of cross are set up. My wife, who was pregnant with Noah, stayed back. At each station, I explained what happened to Jesus. She kept asking me if the other men in the statues were “bad men”. I kept telling her what I knew and how many people did not understand Jesus when he was alive. Finally, we reached the twelfth station where Jesus gave up his breath on the cross and at his feet Mother Mary was weeping and was with John, his disciple. I asked Claire to say a small prayer. My wife had taught her to say a personal prayer everyday for some time now and she was always spontaneous and honest. She said “Dear Jesus, Forgive me for doing this. I will not do it again”. I was shocked. When all of us were pointing fingers accusing others of a bad deed, a 3 year old had owned up and asked forgiveness in a very simple way. A teaching moment had just become a learning moment for me. What astonished me was the beautiful bond Claire had formed with Christ that she could spontaneously speak to him like she did. I sincerely wish we could do the same. I recollect one of my favorite teacher, Rex D'Souza telling us not to point a finger at somebody because the other four fingers would be pointed towards oneself. I pray that although it is hard for us to own up our sins against Jesus, and that in our deeds, we keep sacrificing him time and again, it's never too late to change.  To me Lent had changed that moment. Through Claire, Jesus had taught me to be part of it.