Pastors will tell you that on Ash Wednesday they see faces in the congregation that only appear once or maybe twice each year. First let me say that we rejoice that they are there. The reason is that by the grace of God that they, like all of us, are reminded by Ash Wednesday that we need God in our lives and that he is calling us.
It is trite, but true, that every church could carry a sign “For Sinners Only.” Some of us have already repented, others are repenting and still others are aware that they need to repent. That truth is why the Son of God took on our humanity to teach us about the healing and forgiving love of the Father.
Many of us recall a time when the theme for Ash Wednesday was always centered around our wretchedness…remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return. God doesn’t create wretches. “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:9) God’s image is not wretched.
When you receive your ashes this week you are more likely to be invited to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” And what is this Gospel message we are asked to believe? Simply this, the Father wants you back. The door is open, the welcome mat is out…it is now your move.
Be reconciled to The Father through his Son in His body the Church. This Lent in the Diocese of Dallas we will be making the Sacrament of Reconciliation readily available in all parishes.
When you hear the invitation this Ash Wednesday, I pray you will come home to Jesus in his Church and know the Father’s healing and forgiving love.
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish