Once armed attackers surprised a family on their way home where a bullet hit a young boy as he slept in the back seat. A short time later he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. People were shocked and annoyed. But public outrage was soon replaced by wonder and admiration. The boy’s family arranged that all of their son’s vital organs be harvested and donated freely. As a result lives of eight terminal patients were healed as young vital organs replaced defective ones. This story reminds us of another death of a son whose dying brought life to many. The death Jesus has changed and is still changing lives of many.
Theme: Be reconciled with God
Brothers and sisters, on this Ash Wednesday we enter a season of penance and mortification for forty days that precede Easter being called to reconcile with God. Through symbolic ashes we are reminded that we are sinners created from dust always in need mercy and forgiveness from God cf. Genesis 18:27. To share in his resurrection we have to be cleansed from sin. The spiritual practice of applying ashes to our forehead is sign of atonement. cf. Jeremiah 6:26. In these forty days we are reminded to abstain, fast, pray and do acts of charity. This is the opportune time to make our bodies obey our conscience.
A completely new start
Readings: Gen 9, 8-15; Ps 25, 4-5ab.6.7bc.8-9; 1 Pt 3,18-22; Mk 1,12-15
The Word of God on the first Sunday of Lent invites us to contemplate the restorative work of God. God is setting a completely new beginning for His creation. Jesus is ready to be driven into the desert in order to arouse new life in the „deserted and wild“ places in our lives. Lent is this journey that will let us all merge out as new creatures ready to celebrate the victory of Christ over the evil one. So will our deserts become fertile lands!
Jesus heals us from the leprosy of sin and reconciles us with God and the community.
Respecting social distance is one of the S.O.Ps that we are asked to observe in this pandemic period. It is necessary thing for our survival because it reduces the risk of contamination. However, we are also experiencing how this distance makes us suspicious of the other. We begin to see each other as a possible danger, a possible source of infection. We wouldn't like that someone gets so close to us. Social distancing in away, also breeds an attitude that presupposes the fear of being faced with a risk: the other is removed or relegated to a place from which he will not be able to harm me. Of course, it has the effect of making relations seem so superficial.