I refer to Ash Wednesday as a Holy Day of INVITATION. An invitation is given from the Holy Spirit, acting through the Church, the Body of Christ, inviting us into forty days of prayer, repentance, fasting, interior house cleaning, conversion and charity. It is a time to begin anew, in the Lord.
We often set off on an unceasing quest to distance ourselves from every anxiety, and thus begin to live in such a way as to constantly seek change for “the better.” There is a self-inflicted stress in such a life; a nervous movement toward some savored goal.
I’m sure you’re familiar with homesickness. Perhaps you, like me, feel a little homesick right now. Perhaps you, like me, feel as if you’re never really home, no matter where you go, no matter where you live.
After a long pause, John told me about a terrible fire-fight he’d experienced in the war. He didn’t describe any of the details. There was no talk of blood or bombs or bullets or shredded bodies. What he did say, is the Lord had saved him. And he didn’t know why.
Our Lord Jesus cautions us to beware of the day of his return. Although we often think of Advent as a time to get ready for Christmas, the sacred season is about much more than that, as our gospel reading for today reminds us.