Blood and Ashes | #210

Fr. Joel Homilies 4 Comments

Blood and Ashes

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)

Comments 4

  1. Avatar

    Fr, Joel, thank you for making me fully understand the true meaning of Ash Wednesday!All my life, I have been observing Ash Wednesday as just part of the Lenten season which I never thought as “getting my freedom back.”Indeed,this was an enlightening homily.Now, I am ready to start my Lenten journey which I hope and pray will be a fruitful one.

  2. Avatar

    An excellent homily taking a senseless tragedy and turning it into a deeply spiritual event for your people, with just enough humor to bring them hope.May your prayerful being, sense of humor and compassionate sensitivity lead your parishioners to “rise again from ashes.”
    P.S. All that you learned from an unruly censor on an Easter Sunday at MBS so many years ago is finally paying off.

  3. Avatar

    Hi Joel,

    I am sorry about what happened to the school. I pray that everything will get back to normal soon.

    I see that you don’t have a FB account anymore. I wonder why?

    By the way, you are still very funny in your sermons, and you are sooo right when you say people trade Jesus for everything. I loved the analogy with ashes and when you say, “There is nothing more precious than the blood of Jesus!” You were just on target!

    By the way, did you read the book I gave you when you left De Pere? Please, let me know what you think about it. I miss our discussions about theology.

    We moved to AZ, so we are further away from you now, but we plan to go back to WI every Summer. Please, let me know how we can get in touch (e-mail, FB, visit you, etc). I hope to see you someday again!

    God bless you, Joel.

  4. Avatar

    Does it have to be EITHER-OR? Is it always a trade-off? Why not BOTH-AND? My faith is important to me. God is important to me. Does that mean I can’t enjoy God with a cookie while a watch a little TV?

Leave a Reply