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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

1st Sunday of Lent 2024

Over more than two years, she hiked 6,800 miles of diverse American landscapes, becoming the first woman to complete this coast-to-coast journey alone.

She wrote, "I have endured temperatures well below zero, heat above 100 degrees, winds over 50 mph, snow, sleet, hail, flooding, drought, lightning, tornado warnings, and every once in a while, a bluebird day.”

Her story is not just a tale of physical endurance but also one of profound personal transformation and perseverance against odds.

As we begin Lent this week, Briana's journey offers us a powerful metaphor for our own Lenten journey. 

Lent, much like Briana's hike, is a time for us to traverse the spiritual wilderness within ourselves. 

It's a season marked by reflection, penance, and preparation for Easter, where we are called to confront our own weaknesses, temptations, and sins.

Just as Briana faced the physical challenges of her hike—navigating through unknown terrains, enduring weather hardships, and overcoming the solitude of her long journey—we, too, are called to face our spiritual challenges. 

Jesus' time in the wilderness prepares Him for His public ministry. Similarly, our Lenten observance prepares us for the celebration of Easter, the pinnacle of the Christian faith.

Lent is our time in the wilderness, where we are invited to engage in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, not as ends in themselves but as means to draw closer to God, to deepen our faith, and to prepare our hearts for the joy of the Resurrection.

It reminds us that the journey of faith, just like Briana’s journey and Jesus’ journey into the desert, is often long and requires persistence, but it leads to a destination of profound beauty and fulfillment.

Briana says she hopes her journey will inspire others. "Don't ever let someone tell you that you can't do something that you want to do," she says, per the Mercury News. "You can't live your life in fear."

As we embark on our Lenten journey, let us do so with hearts open to transformation. Let us be willing to walk through our own deserts, to confront and overcome our temptations, and to grow in faith and holi , ness. 

May we emerge from this Lenten season renewed, ready to celebrate the victory of Christ's Resurrection, with hearts full of Easter joy.

May this Lent be a journey of meaningful transformation for each of us, a journey that brings us closer to God and to the people He calls us to be.

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