On Ash Wednesday we are being reminded of our fragility. The Church reminds us of this every year on this day. This year, the reminder underscores what the pandemic has brought home and made very real for us. The fragility of our relationships, our families, our friendships, our social groups, our Church and communities, our cities and countries, our very way of life, has been made very real for us. Our economic well being; our jobs, our incomes, our homes, our investments are all fragile. The health of our body, mind and soul, is fragile and subject to this withering pandemic. We struggle to exercise. We struggle to focus our minds. We struggle to pray. It is a glimpse of what life is like on the other side of the tracks, for those who feel this fragility, vulnerability and instability every moment, every day, every year.
When our house is warm and secure, our friends and family are gathered around the table and our bellies are full, it is easy to forget our fragility. It is easy to forget those whose lives are much more fragile than ours. It is easy to forget the isolated and excluded, the hungry and inadequately housed, the marginalized and unjustly treated among us.
"We have been deaf to your call to serve as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your holy Spirit.
We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives, our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people, ...
Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering and our indifference to injustice and cruelty, ..."
(Litany of Penitence - Ash Wednesday - BAS)
Let us allow our fragility to lead us to new strength. By experiencing fragility, let us be strong for those who are more fragile, as Christ did for us.
Let us allow our sinfulness to lead us to repentance. By confessing our sins, let us see more clearly the error in our ways and turn towards being better examples of God's love, as Christ is for us The Example.
Let us allow our hope to lead us to a new tomorrow. By turning fragility into strength and sin into repentance, let us ACT to grant new life to others, as Christ grants to us
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