Driving to work, a shiny new black corvette pulled up beside me. It was not the car that caught my attention but the license plate. The plate read “Godjoy.” I think Godjoy captures the spirit of Lent. Lent is the penitential season and hopefully we have found the right rhythm for our prayer, fasting and alsmgiving. We are sinners who forget at times that we have been saved and when we forget that we fall back into our old ways.
The faces of the saved
The past two Sundays there was lots of Godjoy in the Archdiocese as we celebrated the Rite of Election and the Call to Conitnuing Conversion. Gathered in the huge upper church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception were 1,192 people who are seeking to become Catholics or to complete the sacraments of initiation. 1,192 faces with smiles of pure Godjoy. Together, with their sponsors they filled the Shrine and in the presence of Archbishop Wuerl and the auxiliary bishops of Washington, the sponsors announced these catechumens and candidates ready to receive the sacraments to initiation at Easter.
Another expression of Godjoy during Lent is found in the music of African-American Spirituals. Sometimes described as songs of sorrowful joy, they capture the spirit of Lent. Even in the misery of slavery and oppression, African-Americans, like the Israelites before them found a joy in knowing God has not abandoned them and only God will save them. Their song becomes the song of all sons and daughters of God.
God comes looking for us
At the Rite of Election, one Spiritual we sang is called Somebody’s Knockin at Your Door and it captures the Godjoy of the Spirituals and of Lent. We are not sinners with nowhere to turn, and the very act of turning is not our initiative but the spirit of God within us calling us back to our deepest joy-right relationship with God. Take a moment to listen.