This Lent – Where’re Ya Going?

by | Feb 19, 2021 | Formation, Reflections, Vincentian Family | 2 comments

Where’re Ya Going?


It’s a question we frequently ask of others as we meet them. Sometimes it includes a second question.

“Where are you going? Where have you been?”

(These are also the questions asked in the Dave Matthews Band hit as well as the title of a Joyce Carol Oates short story.)

In our everyday life, we hear answers ranging from a literal “Going to the store!” to a symbolic “I wish I knew!”

In his Lenten letter, Pope Francis reminds us that Lent is a journey to Easter. He uses Jesus’ words “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt 20:18)

Jesus knew where he was going… and what awaited him there.

Where are we going?

At the beginning of Lent, we have an opportunity to think about where we are heading on the journey of our life.

Our personal journeys have been quite varied. In our journeys we have had our share of joys and sorrows, clarity and confusion.

This past year has certainly been very trying with COVID affecting us in so many unexpected ways,  not to mention the confusion and sharp polarization of politics. How do we move forward?

We face so many questions!

On our journey’s life, sometimes we need to ask

  • Where am I headed?
  • Is that where I want to be heading?
  • Or am I satisfied with living in the moment and thinking only of feeling good, solving some problems, and having fun?
  • What is the path?
  • Is this the right path?

Most importantly, Pope Francis reminds us

At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit. This Lenten journey, like the entire pilgrimage of the Christian life, is even now illumined by the light of the resurrection, which inspires the thoughts, attitudes and decisions of the followers of Christ.

Jesus walks with us on the journey to Easter

Perhaps we can think about our Lenten journey praying that during these forty days we will wake up to the realization that not only has Jesus walked the most difficult of human journeys. Today he walks with us. A well known story seems to capture this.

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

We thank you, Jesus!

During these 40 days…

  • What will help me realize where I have been and where am I going?
  • Am I aware that this Lenten Journey requires conscious answers to “where I have been” and “where am I going”?
  • Do I believe that Jesus is with me on my journey?


  1. Ross

    If I may point out, in the Philippines, the questions, “Where are you going? Where have you been?” is a common way for people to say “Hi!” to those they chance upon. It doesn’t all mean that they are being nosey.

    But whether in the Philippines or elsewhere, the questions seem to me to reflect presence or mindfulness to the other where he or she is. Yet one takes into account not only the other’s present, but also the other’s past and future.

    So, the questions, in my view, are ultimately indicative of people’s instinctive desire to take life for what it is, to embrace and live life’s mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory. Such desire leads everyone to ask questions as to what and how to be guided through the joys, lights and sorrows of this life to the light and glory of the eternal life to come.

    One of the intercessions in yesterday’s Morning Prayer, Liturgy of the Hours, says, “Teach us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Church, that it may be more effective for ourselves and for the world as the sacrament of salvation.”

    I hope my comment does not sound too far-fetched.

  2. John Freund, CM

    Not farfetched at all! Thank you…much food for further thought.

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