Lent: Embrace and Share God's Mercy
Reflections on the readings for Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2018): JL 2:12-18; PS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 12-13, 14 and 17; 2 COR 5:20-6:2; MT 6:1-6, 16-18
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
On this Ash Wednesday, as we receive ashes on our foreheads, we are reminded of human mortality. If we welcome this Lenten Season, it will guide us to a deeper appreciation of the meaning of daily life in relation to the eternal life of the soul. We must open ourselves to our Lord’s transforming grace so that He is always first in our lives and our friendship with Him takes priority over everything else. We need to contemplate how Almighty God wants us to embrace and celebrate His mercy and share it with others. While penitence is a vital part of Lent, we need to understand what it really means. “Even now says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend you hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God” (Joel 2:12).It is never enough to “give up” something for Lent. We need to offer ourselves to the Lord by allowing Him to change our heart and draw us closer to Him in faith, hope and love. And we need to "do something" to change the world around us for our neighbor half a block -- and half a world -- away. Lent is the vision of just who we want to be in the light of Easter morning