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updated 9:17 AM UTC, Jun 12, 2024

Reset – Update - Upgrade

In the world of computers or mobile devices, there are three terms that everyone has probably heard of. A factory reset or factory restore is one of them. It is restoring a computer or mobile phone to its original factory settings. Software update is the second word. It describes periodic or minor updates to current software that typically operate automatically in the background to enhance or fine-tune the program itself. Software upgrade is the third word. This is a reference to installing an updated software version. In contrast to a software update, a new version of the software is installed in this instance. Lent is the time to do the "factory resetting" of our spiritual life and update it by leading a life of repentance and renewal of life.

The Readings of Lenten Season make a "factory reset" by reminding us of the New Covenant God made to Noah after the deluge. They also "update" the meaning and significance of our Baptism in the context of Lenten season which invites us to renew our Baptismal promises. We also sometimes hear a call to completely "upgrade" our spiritual life. The time has come, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe in Good News. The Church seeks to achieve this goal by leading her children to metanoia, or true repentance, and by renewing life through fasting, prayer, alms-giving, self-control, and corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

But we must never lose sight of the fact that conversion is never the result of our efforts, although practice and asceticism are necessary. Our body needs it to become an inviting space. Our hearts need it to become the power of liberating love. But the first exercise, the basic exercise to which all others must orient themselves, is the main act of faith: to return to look at the face of the Son. Above all, return to what Jesus lives and does with us, in us and for us. Conversion is possible only from here, from this intuition of grace.

The establishment of God's Kingdom is the metanoia's primary goal. We are all urged to enter this state of surrendering to God's benevolent will and personal authority. The release of people from the destructive forces in their lives, the return of the rejected and outcast, the forgiveness and reconciliation extended to repentant sinners, and, most importantly, the ultimate act of self-giving love — Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection — all demonstrate the presence of God's Kingdom in Jesus. Let us emulate Jesus' by freeing individuals from negative influences in their lives and reintegrating the marginalized and rejected into society.

Fra. Thomas Francis OFMCap

Vice Economo Generale, General Curia, Rome

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