About the Program
"Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ"
St. Paul, Letter to the Romans5:13-14)
When we think about Lent, we also think about conversion. The New Testament uses two Greek terms to express the idea of “conversion”: metanoia and upostrepho. Metanoia is a word filled with a remarkable meaning. It is made up of two Greek words, the preposition meta (literally: “after”, “beyond”) and the noun nous (literally: “mind”). Metanoia, therefore, implies a change of mind, i.e. thinking one way, but then afterwards thinking in another. In the context of the preaching of Jesus of Nazareth and that of the Apostles, this term hints to a change of mind unto the Gospel itself, that mirrors Jesus’ mind. Jesus the Christ is what the change of mind is all about. The second term, is the Greek verb upostrepho. It means “to turn around”, to “turn towards”. When the New Testament uses this compound verb, it always implies a turning around of someone’s life, i.e. more towards God, in and through Jesus the Christ, and less towards oneself.
For the New Testament, therefore, conversion is more than an action performed once and for all. Conversion is an on-going process of growth, transformation and renewal.
Its goal is to put off our old self, to be made new and Christ-like in the attitude of our minds, and to put on our new self (cfr. Ephesians 4:22-24). Conversion is the proper on-going journey towards transformation and spiritual adulthood of every missionary/disciple of Jesus the Christ. In this light, conversion does not last only 40 days. It does not end when Lent ends. Conversion is a way of being in this world without being of this world; a way of living as mature missionaries/disciples whose lives, values and choices are formed, informed and transformed by the “mind of Christ”.
But how can we apply this notion of conversion to our lives? How can we discern if we are growing as disciples and missionaries of the Good News made flesh, i.e. Jesus the Christ? The program offered by the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Five Lenten Conversations: A Journey Towards Conversion and Transformation, wants to answer these two questions. All the talks will start at 6:00pm in the Welcome Center. They are open to everybody desiring to journey through this 2020 Lenten season in a renewed and refreshing way