09 March 2011

Return and be set free

Day of Ashes (Ash Wednesday) 2011
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Joseph Church, Ponchatula

There is so little time between now and death, too little time to waste it outside God's mercy. The ashes we take remind us that we long for His mercy, that we need His mercy. There is nothing we can do or say to make our Lord love us more. To make Him grant us mercy more quickly. He sent His only Son to die for us to show us the depth and breadth of His love and forgiveness. All we need do is turn to Him, return to Him and receive what He has already given us. Now is an acceptable time, now is the day of salvation. Not yesterday.  Not tomorrow. Now. “Even now, He says, return to me with your whole heart. . .Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.” We smudge ourselves with ashes and set aside a season to remember that we are dust and that one day we will return to dust, to remember our sins and forget our guilt. And though we mourn our faults, we rejoice now b/c today is the day of salvation! Give alms, fast, and pray in thanksgiving to God. And do so with glad hearts and bright faces. Your Lord will repay your sincerity. So, waste no more time outside His mercy. Return to Him and be set free.

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