Lent is the season to open one’s mind to see new possibilities of change and renewal...within one’s own mind. To be close minded is antithetical to the spiritual life. Opening the mind to admit when it has become isolated from God and controlled by a self centered ego is what conversion is all about. Openness to God is at the heart of prayer and liturgy.
As we approach Passiontide, which begins tomorrow with the images in the church veiled in purple, hiding the beauty behind, the gospels portray Jesus coming to blows with religious leaders whose minds are closed to His words and mission. Why are they so closed? It is quite simple: their whole understanding of who the messiah was to be was being challenged by Jesus. They wanted a powerful warrior who would destroy their enemies and restore the power of the monarchy. The Kingdom Jesus preached in his person was not what the leaders liked or wanted. They were CLOSED to anything and anyone who displaced their understanding and theology.
Closed minded people are found on all sides, in all political parties, on every committee, within every church group and in all families. In short, closed minded people are EVERYWHERE because each and every one of us has a mind that is closed in various degrees. Let’s not point fingers, since this defies the very spirit of Lent. May we only point the finger at ourselves and no one else.
“How am I close minded?” becomes the essential question, and my/your/our salvation depends upon how we answer.
Minds that are closed to new possibilities, new understandings, new growth, fresh acts of mercy, admitting wrongdoing are minds closed to God.
May we humbly allow these next two weeks to open the tomb of our minds, freeing our hearts and spirits to rise forth.