“I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”
This is the last line of the Nicene Creed recited by Catholics every Sunday. Today, the first Sunday of Lent, this line seemed to stand out to me. Do I really look forward to the life of the world to come? To do so is to look forward to the end of this life. It struck me that this is really what Lent is about, preparing us so that we can honestly answer yes to that question.
There’s a line in a song by one of my favorite bands, Caedmon’s Call, that says,
This world has nothing for me
And this world has everything
All that I could want
And nothing that I need
Lent ought to be a time of purifying our desires so that we seek after the things that last rather than all the things that distract us from them.
Christ went into the dessert and faced down temptations similar to those we all face: hunger, presumption, pride. We face these challenges daily and we must ultimately learn to follow in Christ’s footsteps and prevail so we can finish running the good race. The desert of Lent is our proving ground on the way to our own Good Friday when we are presented with our cross and must choose to die to ourselves. Only then can we hope to experience the power of the resurrection and gain a taste of that life that is to come.