Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Daily Office Reflection: Ash Wednesday

Psalms 95, 32, 143 * 102, 130; Jonah 3:1-4:11; Hebrews 12:1-14; Luke 18:9-14

What a gift of readings we are given this Ash Wednesday! We have the second part of the Jonah account (post-whale), we are exhorted in Hebrews to remember that great cloud of witnesses and to run with perseverance, and via Luke, Jesus compares the dutiful (but smug) Pharisee and the woeful tax collector. Each of these selections are worthy of (and have had) treatises written about them.

When we walk up to the altar today to have ashes smeared on our forehead in the sign of a cross, and have those humbling words spoken to us, Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return, take these readings with you. Ash Wednesday is one of those "come to Jesus moments" in life where, if we really open ourselves, make ourselves vulnerable, we can change the course of our life. At the root of this altered course is God's love for us, as we have been created. This love is a sure and confident anchor which can provide us a strong hold in the turbulent seas we all find ourselves in. 

Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk the way with us, so be swift to love and make haste to be kind...... God's Blessings on all of us this Lent. May it be a season of true reflection and transformation.

Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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