Ash Wednesday - 5th March 2014
Reading 1, Joel 2:12-18
'But now -- declares the Lord - come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning.'
Tear your hearts and not your clothes, and come back to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and he relents about inflicting disaster.
Who knows if he will not come back, relent and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a libation to be presented to the Lord your God?
Blow the ram's-horn in Zion! Order a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,
call the people together, summon the community, assemble the elders, gather the children, even infants at the breast! Call the bridegroom from his bedroom and the bride from her bower!
Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, stand weeping between portico and altar, saying, 'Spare your people, Lord! Do not expose your heritage to the contempt, to the sarcasm of the nations! Why give the peoples cause to say, "Where is their God?" '
Then, becoming jealous over his country, the Lord took pity on his people.
Reflection by Kim Lee:
Lent is a time for turning away from sin and being faithful to the Gospel. It is a time to prepare our hearts for what is to come. God wants us to be who we are, and nobody else. We aren't called to be somebody's ideal of who we are, not even our own ideal. We are called to be ourselves for God. To be a child of God means to get up when we fall, to trust when humanly you feel like despairing, to forgive when actually you really feel like beating up the person for what they did to you. God is asking us this Lent not necessarily to "give up" as many people think, but to GIVE, to give our whole self to Him as His children, in His service, to carry out His will. Remember that Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life..." (John 14:6). Turn back to God and remember that no sin is too great to receive God's loving mercy and forgiveness - He died on a Cross for us, shed His blood for us - how much more do you need Him to show His love?!
Lent Giving: Offer up all the grudges you hold, and forgive those who have hurt you. Leave them in God's hands and pray for them.
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