“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, a time of reflection and repentance and reconciliation with God.
In other words, you get to start over.
That to me is a great thing. God’s mercies are renewed every morning, and as human beings we need a lot of forgiveness, and a lot of chances to make things right again between us and God and between us and the people in our lives. We “Fall down 7 times, but get up 8” — we are human, we fail, but we can get up again and try once more to do better.
As Catholics we are so lucky — so blessed —to have these opportunities to come back home to God. We have Confession so that the mistakes we make in life do not weigh us down — we get to lay down our burdens at the feet of Jesus and start over again.
We have the Lenten season where we can reflect again on our lives, on our relationship with God and discover where we need to grow, to heal, to forgive and be forgiven.
We are strengthened by the Eucharist, healed by Confession and renewed by this season of Lent.
We are so blessed.
There are a number of resources out there with wonderful Lenten reflections, for example:
Praying Lent from Creighton University
The Holy Season of Lent
And we await Easter morning with a joyful heart as we renew our faith during this Lenten season and are given yet another opportunity to grow closer to God.