Baseball great Bob Meusel, who played for the great Yankee teams of the 1920’s known as “Murderer’s Row,” was known for his dour personality and strained relationship with his teammates and media. When towards the end of his career he attempted to display a cheerier disposition, one famed baseball writer quipped, "He learned to say hello when it was time to say goodbye.”
I think that line could well summarize the Lenten observance of many of us. We start on a high on Ash Wednesday. We make our Lenten fasting commitments, but it invariable becomes easy to get caught up in the many distractions of everyday life and to forget to spend time reflecting on God’s love for us and our need to forge a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. When Good Friday rolls around, we suddenly wake up and want to join in the spiritual significance of the moment. But when it time to say goodbye, to reflect spiritually on the death of Christ, we find ourselves just beginning the dialogue with Christ.
As we prepare for the Easter Triduum, remember that no matter how late you start your Lenten spiritual journey, the great blessings and joy of these upcoming celebrations and observance can powerfully bring you closer to Our Lord, and the neglectful can also reflect on an amazingly forgiving God, who not only forgives our sins but also the times we failed to say “hello.”