Ash Wednesday – Gifts and Ashes | #117

Fr. Joel Homilies

Lent, Ash Wednesday • What do we have to repent of? Here are three things:

It’s all a Gift. — From the universe, to the sun and moon, to the stars, to the snow and the little bugs, everything is a gift. We often think we are entitled to more or than what we got. Many of us see our life as a burden. But it is all a gift, even the painful parts.

Compared to the Giver, it’s all Ashes. — The God who gave us the world is so much more beautiful than all his gifts. Even though the world is a beautiful place and full of marvel and mystery, it pales in comparison to the giver. It’s like so much ashes. We fight over ashes, horde ashes, steel ashes, pig out on deep-fried ashes. Yet we forget the giver.

We Ignore Him. — Did you plan on giving up something for Lent? Did you talk to God about it? I didn’t. I never think to talk to God about those kinds of things. We so often ignore him. Yet he not only created us, but he also holds us in existence. He is always thinking of us. Ash Wednesday is a time to repent of being un-thankful, to admit that it is all really just ashes anyway, and to think of the One who never stops thinking of us. Maybe a little ash on our foreheads will help. (9 Mar 2011)