WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY17, 2021
Lent is the six week period leading to Easter.
Ash Wednesday starts lent with the blessing of the Ashes.
Lent is a time to prepare for and reflect on Jesus’ sacrificial death.
“Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2.12)
This time of Lent is a call to conversion in our spiritual life. The liturgy of this Ash Wednesday suggests ways we can live in closer relationship with God. In chapter 6 in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus advises his disciples to “Beware of practicing your piety before people in order to be seen by them.” He goes on to describe how to live out conversion: almsgiving, prayer and fasting. (Mt 6.1-6, 6-18)
The only limit to our conversion is our imagination and our openness to the Holy Spirit in our lives.
We may not be able to volunteer in person, but we can show more acts of kindness within our own “bubble” during this Pandemic. A smile can brighten someone’s day, a phone call bring comfort and connection with someone who is alone, expressing gratitude in creative ways.
During these forty days we can give more space to times of prayer, of conversation with God. We can do this by reading Scripture, creating a space for personal prayer and reflection, opening our being to the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Fasting from food can take the form of making healthier food choices. We can fast by cutting back on “screen time” (use of social apps, computer games and turn off our iPhone for an hour or two.) spending more personal time with the people with whom we live.
“Today, do not harden your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord.” (Ps 95.7-8)