After such a long, dangerous and grueling trip, Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, a name which means “house of bread.” It is fitting that the Christ-Child born there is the bread of life who gives himself—his flesh and blood—as food for eternal life.
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.