…but I love Lent. Always have. I like the tonic of the thing. I love the reminder of death. I love the push toward facing our elemental weakness. I love the realism of it: “Remember, O Man, that you are dust and to dust you will return”.
Saw “Chronicle” the other night and really appreciated it. After endless superhero movies where the hero Finds His Strength Within Himself and Triumphs Over Evil, what I appreciated about Chronicle is that it is, in the final analysis, a tragedy in which a good but flawed young man is destroyed by hubris and the interior demons he cannot overcome with mere power. Our pop culture doesn’t go much for tragedy, because we don’t go much for facing sin. We prefer to be told that we can save ourselves by Our Goodness Within. Chronicle (and all good tragedies) remind us that this ain’t so. We require grace. A good solid message for Lent.
Here’s reality: Human beings, working together with good community organizers, and following the Wisdom of the Voters and the very best that popular piety, sound civic common sense, and the best of human wisdom have, time and again, shouted “Give us Barabbas!” and chosen to crucify the innocent Son of God. It’s what we do.