Ash Wednesday: There Is Nothing Wrong With Me!

 

Agony. There are too many things going on inside my head as my mind struggles to keep up with my tired body. Still I press on, knowing that there will be pockets of time for me to take a breather. I run the risk of piling too many things on my plate but I know that it will help me in the future. I only need to struggle for just two more months and then I can close this chapter. The only consolation that I hold close to my heart is knowing that I can still find time for God to listen to his word.

The gospel reading says,“Jesus said to his disciples:”Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them: otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you”(Matthew 6:1-6,16-18).   

Many a times, we feel that there is nothing wrong with us/me and we can carry on living the same lifestyle each day. This Ash Wednesday challenges us to look deeper and even for myself, I know that there is a lot wrong with me. It is because I am not perfect and even though I try, the reality is that I am still a sinner.

Having humility and compassion in the heart is important in this beginning of Lent as it opens us up to the graces of God and for us to put down our pride. Now I learn to be humble and to be grateful for the graces and opportunities that God has shown me or given me. It is essential that we do not take God for granted and that he invites us to walk closer with him in this Lenten season.

The symbolism of the ashes is also a reminder that we are mere mortals and this is just a journey that we are passing through. One day, we will return to dust for no one can escape this, but what we can do is to keep up the good work of touching the lives of others and also to prepare ourselves for the Father’s eternal reward when the time comes. “Repent and believe in the word of God”

Even though we are far from perfect, it is alright as it takes time and experiences to mold us and Jesus cares for sinners and even invites them to partake in his company. Jesus knows that we feel unworthy or ashamed but more so, he invites us in for anyone who wants to know him and who has a repentant heart can sit with him at his table. Amen.

I will leave you dear readers with this hymn, Ashes as a reminder for the week to always remember that Jesus will provide and that from our sins, we can come out stronger and more refreshed with the guidance of the Spirit and the forgiveness that we seek to reconcile with one another. Let us keep one another in prayers!

“We rise again from ashes,
from the good we’ve failed to do.
We rise again from ashes,
to create ourselves anew.
If all our world is ashes,
then must our lives be true,
An offering of ashes,
An offering to You. 

We offer You our failures,
we offer You attempts;
The gifts not fully given,
the dreams not fully dreamt.
Give our stumblings direction,
give our visions wider view,
An offering of ashes,
An offering to You. 

Then rise again from ashes,
let healing come to pain;
Though spring has turned to winter,
and sunshine turned to rain.
The rain we’ll use for growing,
and create the world anew,
From an offering of ashes,
An offering to You.

Thanks be to the Father,
who made us like Himself.
 Thanks be to His Son,
who saved us by His death.
Thanks be to the Spirit,
who creates the world anew,
From an offering of ashes,
An offering to You.”

 

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