February 28, 2014 | by Deacon Tim Harrer
Lord, we are sinners and we beg for your Mercy, knowing you are our Savior.
This Wednesday, March 5, is Ash Wednesday which begins Lent, the powerful time of a cleansing opportunity in our lives. Five Sundays and 40 days leading into Holy week and Triduum which concludes with the highest of a Holy Day - The Resurrection from the dead of Jesus who is God and our Redemptor. We begin by having an attitude of repentance and through the imposition of ashes, we are reminded that we live but a short time and we are to prepare our selves for eternal life with God, if we so choose.
In this Ash Wednesday Mass , from the prophet Joel, we hear God calling us to three things: Gather as a people of God, fasting and mourning over our bad choices, and saying:" Spare, O Lord, your people..." In the Gospel ( Matthew 6), Jesus asks us to be humble, to put away the pride we all have and to enter into a time of Giving to others (alms), to pray, and to fast ( to become simple).
We can choose to see this time of Lent as Dreary adding time and effort as burdens onto our life, or, we can choose to see ourselves more clearly and change some areas of who we are and how we relate to others realizing that Jesus is "the way." He has the true words, and encouragement, and the love of us.
You, and your family members might decide today what you wish to deny your self... dinners out? .... less TV and movies? ... children deciding to keep their room clean and cheerfully doing some chores... every one deciding to speak in kindness .... You might commit to attending Mass every week and Friday night Stations of the Cross. You might discuss the beautiful readings and listen intently to the homily. You might read the daily reflections and ponder.
In the upcoming Gospels: Jesus Himself enters into 40 days of fasting and temptation to quit His mission or His intent to overcome sin. Jesus takes three apostles to a mountain to witness the most awesome sight. Jesus teaches a foreign woman that He is the eternal one, the font of eternal life. Jesus heals a blind man and with that shows us that we are all blind and need to see Him anew. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead showing He has the power over death and will raise us as believers also.
Then, we enter into Holy Week, that most powerful time of all time. Jesus willingly enters into Jerusalem, first hailed as a King of the people and five days later is crucified as a blasphemer and offender of Jewish laws. He is buried, his followers are filled with fear. Jesus Rises on the third day as our Savior, Redeemer, and brother always there to protect us.
For me, I pray that I will come closer to God in word and action. For you, Father, myself, and the staff will actively hold you in prayer everyday asking God to care for you and bring you closer. Lent is a wonderful opportunity. Don't waste it.
Our story continues.... God blesses us.... Deacon Timothy.