(Prayer offered on the public address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday, 6 March 2019)
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God.
Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the start of the Lenten season. Interestingly, Lent comes from an Old English word meaning “springtime.” Much like how people do a spring cleaning for their houses, Lent is a spring cleaning for the soul.
The Gospel tell us that Jesus was led into the desert where he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. During these next 40 days of Lent, we too are called into the desert. We are called to fast and pray to purify our hearts and souls to draw closer to God and to ultimately renew our relationship with Him in preparation for His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
During Mass today, Father Woodhouse will be placing ashes on your forehead and will say the phrase: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” While the ashes are meant as a reminder of our mortality, of the finiteness of our time here on earth, what they will mean to each of us in that moment may be different- what will they mean to you? Are they a sign of repentance? Are they a sign of imperfection? How about faith? Or devotion?
Regardless, the ashes call each of us to a common goal: self-reflection.. So, use the ashes you get today to help you self-reflect. Use the Lenten season to give up something negative in your life. Use the next 40 days as Jesus did.
Let us pray.
Gracious God, today begins a period of inner reflection and examination. The days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that holds your Spirit. This special time beckons me to see my life through Christ’s eyes and the truth and reality of your love incarnate. Give me the grace to enter the space of these days with anticipation of our meeting. And, when I open my soul to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my heart. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.
St. John Baptist de La Salle. Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.
Jeff Miszkiewicz–English Teacher