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Ash Wednesday

Joel 2:12-18; 2 Cor. 5:20-6:2 & Mt. 6:1-6,16-18

If we think of Lent as a time for being gloomy and just giving up a few pleasures in life, then we have completely the wrong idea. In fact the Church describes the Lenten season as a joyful one.

It is the most hope-filled time we have, culminating in the blaze of glory that is Easter. It is the period of preparation for the Lord's Paschal sacrifice. It is a time for penance and prayer, almsgiving and other works of virtue and charity. Most of all, it is a time to recall God's infinite love and His mercy for us, manifested in the life, mission, death, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lent is filled with the Light Who is Christ.

We recall, at all times, but especially during the holy season of Lent, that "even if our sins be as scarlet, they can be made whiter than snow, washed by the Blood of the Lamb." Perhaps some of the people who think Lent is a "sombre and dark period," also think that Confession is somehow in the same category. How wrong they are! The great sacrament of Reconciliation is a perceptible manifestation of God's love and mercy towards us. It takes away the guilt of sin. It reconciles the sinner (that's every one of us) to God. It unburdens the heart, mind and soul. In short, it is a cause for the greatest joy!

Every good deed you do in life is recorded and rewarded by the Lord.

“You’re writing a Gospel a chapter each day
By the deeds that you do and the words that you say.
Men read what you write, whether worthless or true.
Say, what is the Gospel according to you.”
The season of Lent is a time of giving. A time to say “Thank you, Lord, for all You have done for me. No matter how generous I may be to You, I can never repay all You have done me.”
“What giving again!” I asked in dismay.
“And must I keep giving and giving again.”
“Oh yes!” said the angel looking me through.
“Just give till the Master stops giving to you.”

May you have a blessed and joyous Lent, knowing that God's mercy and love are there for all of us – AND ALL THAT EACH OF US HAS TO DO IS TO GO TO CONFESSION!

Lord Jesus, in generously giving to You this Lent may we enjoy the peace and happiness that comes from knowing, without any question, that God loves us.

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