HOMILY OF ASH WEDNESDAY
Joel 2:12-18, 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2, Matthew 6:1-6,16-18
THEME: A JOURNEY BACK HOME
“Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks –
come back to me with all your heart,
fasting, weeping, mourning.’
Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn,
turn to the Lord your God again,
for he is all tenderness and compassion,
slow to anger, rich in graciousness,
and ready to relent.”
The time of lent is one of those moments of grace when the church of Christ leads us through a journey of home coming to God. We have a Father who is ever close to us. As the ancient of days, he remains present to us in his infinite love. We take steps away from him anytime we choose our own ways. Like the prodigal son, we often seek freedom, we have that urge or inclination to follow our mind or give in to our fleshy desires. We may not really understand that freedom is to live in the father’s house and to know the rules of the house. True freedom is to know the ways of the Lord.
However, in the first reading, the Lord invites us to return to him. He is prodigal in mercy. He said in the gospel of John 15:5 “cut away from me, you can do nothing” Since, we cannot be in his presence and follow our own rules, he wants us to chisel our taste and keep our mind on him so that we may learn from him. In his presence, there is fullness of joy and redemption.
More so, the Lord presents to us in the gospel, three keys to keep our spiritual pulse in check; that is, Prayer, fasting and alms-giving. Since our journey back home is meant to win God’s embrace, he advises us not to use those practices as means to impress man, but as means to have our ways back to the heart of God. We must not trumpet any of these practices, rather, we do them humbly.
Beloved in Christ, let us use these means to seek the face of the Lord, who awaits us with a willing openness. May this season bring out the best in us. May it lead us to a robust regenerative lifestyle. Amen.