Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Peel It Away

As we enter into Lent, one fact, one piece o' trivia and one image.

Fact: From now until the Easter Vigil the Gloria and the Alleluia drop out of the liturgy. Of course, we always want to be giving God his props; but in Lent we try to do it a bit more soberly.

Piece o' Trivia: The term "Lent" has nothing to do with penance or even Christianity. It comes instead from the Old English word for "spring". (Other languages simiarly refer to it in terms of its length, as in the Italian "quaresima", "40 days".)

Image (which comes from a post I did a couple years ago): Australia has a large tree known as the gum tree, part of a family of trees, the eucalyptus, which are found literally all over its continent. (According to Wikipedia, no continent is as characterized by a single genus of tree as Australia is by the eucalyptus.)

What’s notable about the gum tree is that every summer it loses all of its bark. All of it. In fact, when I was over there in 2008, it seemed like the gum trees were always peeling. Most trees, of course, need the bark to protect the tree. Remove it and the tree might easily die. But not the gum.

Somewhere in there might be a cool image to go into Lent with. We develop these outer coats – but this Lent what do we need to strip away? Where do we need to be a little more exposed? What needs to be laid bare?

Tomorrow -- It's No Sacrifice...

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