The Power of God’s Mercy

ASH WEDNESDAY

Jl.2:12-18/Ps.5050:3-6.12-14.17/2:Cor.5:20-6:2/Matt.6:1-6.16-18


The Power of God’s Mercy


Christ placed us at the heart of the gospel by making us stewards of the Good News and of his kingdom (2Cor.5:20). Thus, we are models of Christ's holiness. Christ must be exemplified in our lives (Matt.5:48) that we may be his best ambassadors in the world. Cognizant of humankind's fallen nature the Lord keeps watch over us. He allows the Holy Spirit to be our teacher (Jn.14:26; 1Cor.2:12), to expose our falsehood, correct us and make us holy and equip us to fulfil our role as his ambassadors here on earth (2Tim.3:16-17).


The Lenten Season plays a fundamental role in reminding us of our fallen nature. However, Lent challenges us to rise from the ashes of the past, embody the covenant (Jer.31:31-34) and quench the thirst of Christ who longs to draw us to himself (Matt.23:37). God hungers for the purity of our integrity (Is.62:1; Matt.5:8).


Ashes remind us of the triviality of the flesh (Mk.8:36) and the brevity of life on earth (Ps.90:10). Yes! We are dust; and to dust, we shall return if we allow our integrity to fail us. Therefore, we must put to death all semblances of individualism, hedonism, humanism, licentiousness. We must put on a new self and turn back to God in obedience (Col.3:5-6).


This is the importance of the imposition of blessed ashes today, the Church in the name of Christ calls us to humble ourselves, repent and to believe in the gospel that the Lord may be gracious to us as he was towards the people of Nineveh (Jon.3:1-10). Obedience to the gospel will save our lives.


My friends, during this time of prayer, fasting and penance we have a glorious opportunity through redemptive suffering with Christ to redeem ourselves from the slavery of sin, especially any dubious practices that are likely to reduce us to nothing - dust. Lent, as Christ states in today's gospel is a time of transcendence. It is a season when those who are in Christ seek every opportunity to be authentic and responsible ambassadors of Christ through their ongoing personal conversion. Let us not fail ourselves this Lenten season. Do not make a mockery of the ashes we receive today. Open the door of our heart to receive the grace of God.


Lord, thanks for the many changes you have granted. Help accept this one as if it is my last.

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