“For our sakes God made him who did not know sin to be sin, so that in him we might become the very holiness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

We call Jesus Christ by many names: Lord, Messiah, Prince of Peace, Good Shepherd, Bread of Life, King, Brother, and the list goes on. Today’s Second Reading calls him “sin.” Jesus Christ emptied himself of his divinity and took upon himself sin. Why? So that “in him we might become the very holiness of God.”

Lent is a time to free ourselves from sin, which often is a form of self-centeredness. We are reminded to change our hearts. We’re told to lose ourselves in order to find ourselves. All these Lenten reminders speak of Lent’s ultimate penance; namely, changing ourselves into Christ. If we can truly say, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who lives, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20), then we will have found our true selves. We will become “the very holiness of God.”

So let’s pick up the cross of becoming transformed into Christ. Let us die during Lent to become the living Christ at Easter and always.

What kind of prayer, penance, and almsgiving will allow you to live the life of Christ, to become Christ?

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