March 6 - Ash Wednesday
Mar 6, 2019
March 6, 2019 - Ash Wednesday
Scriptures: We are all called to remember today that we are sinners and that we can offend the Lord through our actions, habits, and attitudes. However, we also remember that God is kind and merciful, the heavens rejoice in repentance, and the Father sent his only Son to destroy the power of sin and death so that we might have eternal life. In the second reading we see that in order to save us, Christ had to become sin even though He never sinned. Just as Jesus took sin upon himself, and because of that, we are now able to receive God's gift of righteousness if we "Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel" (Words used to distribute ashes).
Core Faith Principle: Every year people go through the exercise of "Giving something up" for Lent. Yet we fail to understand the intimacy God has with us and the intimacy that we are mean to have with God. We see from Jesus' life that God Himself has chosen to "Empty Himself and take the form of a slave" (Ph. 2:6-11), he fasted in the desert for 40 days, or in other words, sacrifice and self-emptying are a part of Divine Life. Jesus left heaven itself and its infinite and eternal goodness to become fully human and live on earth. Just as we can't imagine the perfect glory of the heavens and all its ecstasy, so we can't imagine what a sacrifice our God made to leave it to live a Human life. What does giving up chocolate for 40 days compare with giving up heaven itself for 33 Years? Jesus wants us to grow closer to Him so that we might be one. We cannot be one with a self-emptying God unless we too learn to empty ourselves. We cannot be one with a Holy God, if we love our own unholiness. Empty yourself out in some way this Lent. To do it perfectly is to pour oneself out in love rather than obligation. Share everything with God these 40 days, and be open to letting God share everything with you.
Living this at Home: The best thing you can do today is to bring your children to receive ashes. Corpus Christi St. Bernard Parish has a mass at 7:00 PM tonight. You can explain to your children that these ashes are made from last year's palm branches that we gave away at Palm Sunday. You can explain to them that the ashes remind us that we will not live in this world forever but instead are called to live eternally with God in heaven. We do that by learning to live with God, and like God, while we live on earth. That means we should love what is good, and say sorry when we do something bad. It means that we should be giving and not selfish. It means that we should learn not to rely on earthly things for happiness (this is why we give something up for Lent) but rather let God be our complete joy!