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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

Ash Wednesday 2024


This year, our Lenten journey begins on a day when the world celebrates love—Valentine's Day—a fitting reminder that at the heart of our Lenten observance is the greatest love story ever told: God's unending love for us.


The prophet Joel beckons us, "Return to me with all your heart," urging us not merely to tear our garments in a traditional sign of repentance but to rend our hearts in true contrition and openness to divine grace. 


This act of rending is not about destruction but about opening our hearts to the transformative power of God's love, allowing His grace to enter and heal our brokenness.


In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus instructs us on the essence of true piety—almsgiving, prayer, and fasting—done not for outward show but from a sincere heart. 


These practices, especially during Lent, are means through which our hearts are mended. They are intimate moments with our Father, who sees in secret and rewards us.


Today, as we mark our foreheads with ashes, we are reminded of our mortality and called to humility. 


Yet, these ashes also signify the potential for new life, for as we acknowledge our frailties and failings, we also open ourselves to God's mercy and the promise of resurrection. 


The dual observance of Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day invites us to reflect on the love that drives our acts of penance—a love that is not just romantic but sacrificial, a love that Christ demonstrated on the cross.


Our Lenten theme, "Rending and Mending Our Hearts," calls us to a profound realization: it is only by acknowledging our brokenness and surrendering our hearts to God that we can experience true healing. 


This Lent, let us focus on mending our hearts through acts of love, kindness, and compassion. Let us reach out to those in need, forgive those who have wronged us, and love more deeply, mirroring the boundless love of God.


As we journey through these forty days, let the practices of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving be expressions of our desire to mend our relationship with God and with one another. Let this time be a testament to the power of God's love to transform our hearts and lives.


In a world that often equates love with emotion or sentimentality, our Lenten journey reminds us that love is also sacrifice and commitment. It is about laying down our lives for others, just as Jesus laid down His life for us. 


This Ash Wednesday, let us commit to rending our hearts open to God's love and to mending the wounds within us and around us, propelled by the grace that flows from the heart of Christ.



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Anne Peterson
Anne Peterson
2月14日

Amen. May Gods grace and Love be with me always

いいね!
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