Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday

As the season of Lent begins let us be reminded of the passion and death of Christ, our Savior who suffered for our sins. This is a time for us to acknowledge our guilt for our sins and repent.

"Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." What an awesome statement to help us focus on our mortality and an incentive to take seriously the call of repentance. Lent is a season of baptismal renewal. "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." As in our baptismal promises to reject sin and profess our faith. It is a clear call to conversion, to that movement away from sin and toward Christ that we have to embrace over and over again through our lives. As we enter this season of renewal, we are united with all of God's people, for we all share the need for continued conversion and we are called to support one another on the journey.

I will try my hardest this Lent to do what Jesus speaks of the three main disciplines of the season: giving alms, praying and fasting. I will not do these in desire for recognition by others. Personally I want to do them out of love of God and neighbor, and to acknowledge that I am part of a community of sinners in need of repentance and renewal.

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, the all-holy one, who gives us life and all things. As we go about our lives, the press of our duties and activities often leads us to forget your presence and your love. We fall into sin and fail to live out the responsibilities that you have entrusted to those who were baptized into your Son.
In this holy season, help us to turn our minds and hearts back to you. Lead us into sincere repentance and renew our lives with your grace. Help us to remember that we are sinners, but even more, help us to remember your loving mercy.
As we live through this Ash Wednesday, may the crosses of ashes that mark our foreheads be a reminder to us and to those we meet that we belong to your Son. May our worship and prayer and penitence this day be sustained throughout these 40 days of Lent. Bring us refreshed and renewed to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter.
We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

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