This week we celebrated Ash Wednesday. A day that is fraught with symbolism and the promise of redemption. I always look forward to Ash Wednesday. It always causes me to become centered on Our Lord’s Passion, His ultimate sacrifice to save all of us from damnation.
I am so disappointed that I was unable to attend mass on Wednesday, as I spent Tuesday night in the hospital with a kidney stone. I have never felt such pain. I woke up with the feeling that someone was pushing a knife through my flank very slowly. But, as I think about that now, it brings to mind the pain Jesus suffered.
Jesus was insulted, humiliated, betrayed, beaten, flogged, crowned with thorns, and crucified. My kidney stone pain pales in comparison. Knowing that Jesus in His human form suffered such pain is imaginable to me. How can we doubt the love He has for us? How can we turn out backs on Jesus?
Lent gives us the opportunity to get right with the Lord. To offer to a loving and forgiving God our prayers, sacrifices and works in reparation for sin not only committed by us personally, but by all humankind. We can re-establish our relationship with God and strengthen this relationship.
Jesus suffered and died on the cross for our salvation, but we still must live a life in Him. When Jesus died for us, He opened the door for our forgiveness, but without living the way we are meant to live, we throw that forgiveness away. Let us not be fooled by forgiveness without works, or sacrifice or penance, or adherence to the Ten Commandments.
I wish for all of you to enjoy a happy, prayerful lent with willing sacrifices for the Lord.