By the mere fact that you are here today for this Ash Wednesday Mass I think it’s safe to assume you intend to be serious about Lent this year.
In the first place you have come to Mass. I am well aware that it was much easier for me to get here than it was for so many of you. Good on you: God blesses you.
You have just heard the word of God proclaimed. The word speaks to our hearts and on this day it may be summarised as saying: Come back to me!
In a few moments you will receive the ashes on your forehead in the shape of a cross. You will carry them with you during this busy work day. They, too, will speak to you and say: Remember, don’t forget - the day of your death is approaching!
Then we will celebrate the sacramental memorial of all that Christ did for us in his passion, death and resurrection. At the elevation, as the priest holds up the Sacred Host for all to see, God will say: I love you.
In Holy Communion Jesus will speak to you: Do not be afraid, I give you myself.
Lent is a special time of renewal. Set out eagerly, as the prophet Joel says, with all your heart. During the next forty days:
- Pray with loving attentiveness to the God who sees you.
- Give to those who are poor and who need you.
- Fast from all that tempts you to forget your littleness and need for God.
Don’t be alarmed if you should fail. Get up and keep going.
Make a decision to go to Reconciliation sometime during this season of purification.
Trust that your efforts will be pleasing to the Lord.
Who knows if he will not turn again, will not relent, will not leave a blessing?