In this past year, it seems we’ve had the longest Lent ever. And now we stand ready to start Lent again before it feels like the previous one is over. But this Lent is different. It brings with it a promise that we can walk with Jesus and participate in hastening the redemption of our community.
In Rhode Island the government is choosing a different strategy to vaccinate the population. Other states are working to get as many people vaccinated as possible and that means that people with the means to get access to the vaccine are going first. Here in Rhode Island the hardest hit communities and groups are getting priority. And that means that we are targeting rather than broadcasting, which is why we lag the rest of the country in vaccinations per capita, and why many of us do not know when we’ll be able to get back to something more normal – when our Lent will end.
And yet, our Lent is ephemeral. The Lent suffered by the most impacted communities in Rhode Island is essentially permanent. If they are given priority, not only is it justice for them, it is likely to be for the common good in the end.
Some of us are asked to deny ourselves so that others can be saved. Seems like the most appropriate Lenten discipline I’ve ever been invited to take on.