Pathways through Lent

A Toast

Psalm 97:1–2,7–12 Ezekiel 36:33–38 1 Thessalonians 2:2b–12 Matthew 28:16–20

Despite what you might hear on St. Patrick’s Day, the day’s honoree is not
the patron saint of beer. Rather, he’s a man with a humbling and thoughtprovoking
story.
At 16, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery for six
years. Upon escaping Ireland, he returned to his native Britain a changed
man and went into the priesthood. Almost two decades later, he was
commissioned to Ireland as a missionary and helped turn the pagan land into
a Christian country.
Why would someone willingly return to a land where he’d once been enslaved
to help the people? That’s not my idea of compelling job offer, and it sounds
like more than I’d be able to handle. Yet God works in mysterious ways.
Patrick returned to Ireland, established a school, and spread the Gospel to
Irishmen for nearly three decades.
I don’t think we’re supposed to forget the past. Rather, we’re called to grow in
love and forgiveness—to let go and let God, learning from our experiences.
He asks us to forgive those who’ve trespassed against us—even when it’s hard.
I encourage you to take time during Lent and consider this idea of letting go
and letting God.
Patrick did, loving Ireland and its people. So let’s toast (a pint) to St.
Patrick on his feast day, remembering him for his patience, willingness,
and determination to go where others wouldn’t, spreading the Gospel and
opening the people’s hearts.
–Sara McGanity

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