“Blood and Ashes” (Homily for Ash Wednesday)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Blood and Ashes

[audio:2012lent0.mp3|titles=Blood and Ashes|artists=Fr.Joel]

Ash Wednesday. Ashes from our burnt school give a new meaning to Ash Wednesday. They remind me that all that we have, own, and value is really just ashes. Everything is ashes except the Blood of Jesus Christ. In fact, only God and other people will survive the end of the world. That is why our the greatest commandment is to love God and love our neighbor. It is also why Jesus reminds us that we need to do our fasting, prayer, and almsgiving for one reason: love of God.

How is it that we lose our faith? We slowly trade other things for Jesus. We might not intend to, but bit by bit we trade Jesus for a a football game, a sports tournament, a better job — until there is nothing left. We have given away the Son of God for a pile of ashes.

Lent is the time to trade back. By sacrificing and giving up things we like, we remind ourselves that only God can satisfy. We trade back our ashes for the Son of God. Lent is the time to start living the truth that nothing is more valuable than the Blood of Jesus.

(22 Feb 2012)