Ash Wednesday

As we journey toward Holy Week and the Easter Triduum together at Light to the Nations, we hope these daily reflections on the readings of the day will give you hope and sustenance to return to the Lord with all your heart.

 

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Scripture:

1st Reading: Joel 2:12-18 

2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:20 – 6.2 

Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

My husband and I recently watched a beautiful film called “A Hidden Life”. It was about an Austrian Farmer, Franz Jägerstätter (now beatified by the Church) who faced the threat of execution for refusing to fight for the Nazis during World War 2.

Although I was struck by the fortitude Franz displayed in disastrous circumstances, what has really stayed with me days later is the rhythm of his life in the Austrian mountains with his wife and children. It was his hidden habits and routines that were the bedrock of his life. Franz was then able to access a wellspring of strength and devotion to God in the hardest and darkest times of his life when all hope was seemingly lost.

 

In Lent we are called to return to God with our whole hearts.

 

What small, seemingly inconspicuous routines and habits can I establish during Lent that will help me build a life modelled after my saviour, Jesus? How can I ensure that in my heart which is hidden, I am giving glory to God, who sees what is hidden? How can I cooperate with the Holy Spirit to cleanse my heart of judgement, falsehoods and hardness, for “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”?

 

This is the challenge for a ‘good’ lent. We look to the tools the Church suggests to model our hearts after Jesus’: fasting, prayer and almsgiving, so that when we speak and act in the world, the work we have done in secret flows out to those around us.

 

Kate Kirk

DOJ Canberra