Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Forty days from today, not including Sundays, will be Easter. On this day, we are encouraged to acknowledge what needs to change in our lives so that we can come to a fuller life in the Risen Lord at Easter. When we receive ashes on our foreheads, we remember who we are: “From dust we came, and to dust we will return.” We remember that we are members of the body of Christ and the ashes are signs that we are all in this sin business together, and the difference between the good in us and the bad in us is sometimes frightfully thin. We often fall short of the Faith we claim. We have treated people as things and we have treated things as if they were valuable people. And so we look into our hearts and pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me.”
Lent is a season that reminds us to repent and get our lives centered, our priorities straight, and our hearts clean. This holy season gives us a new chance to say “yes” to God and his plan for us. Lent is a season of hope and with ashes on our foreheads and hope in our hearts, we can go out into the world to love and to serve. For it is by God’s grace in Christ, we do not have to stay the same!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”