Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ASH WEDNESDAY


Ashes included, today’s readings for Ash Wednesday help orient us and begin to get us into the broader context of Lent, as individuals and as members of a larger community, here on campus, in our city and country, in the world.  Today’s guide book can introduce and lead us throughout Lent.

Joel, in the first reading, tells us what we’re supposed to do: return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God...

The Psalmist calls on God for what we need …have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness…

St. Paul tells Christians, and I believe all men and women of faith, whatever our faith tradition, who we are, and why we do what we do, and we can apply that information to our practices in Lent: We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us…and then calls us all to reconciliation with each other and with God, so we might all be reconciled to God…We can all be ambassadors for faith.

Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus tells us how to do what we do…not only in Lent but also as we practice faith, daily:  when we perform righteous deeds, and when you pray…and when you fast…

So we know what we’re supposed to do, and who we are, and how to do what we do. The ashes we receive signify new life in our faith, a promise made, and an opportunity for us to keep the promise.

Have a blessed Lent, because now is a very acceptable time…

Fr. Paul Stark, S.J. is Vice President for Mission and Ministry.

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