ASH WEDNESDAY: 6th March, 2019
1st reading: Joel 2:12-18, Psalm 51
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6,16-18
Joel 2:13,14a Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? Perhaps, He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing—
If there is one climate unsuitable for progress, it is one in which there is an air of uncertainty blowing. Economists and politicians alike seem to agree to some extent that Brexit has created such an environment in the UK, much to the detriment of the local economy.
Even though to many much of that is all ‘political and economic jargon’, the word ‘uncertainty’ speaks for itself.
Its influences are so immense that at its full strength, many are likely to be unsure of the course of action to take. When one is not sure of what could be, there is an extra layer of caution that is seen in actions. The prophet Joel speaks of repentance and returning to God, however, in the text read today, across the different versions of scripture; we see the use of word ‘perhaps, if or maybe’.
This invitation was thus somehow founded on an uncertainty about what God’s decision would be: whether He would forgive or not, leave a blessing or not. That uncertainty no longer exists in our time. We know what God’s answer is, we are certain of His desire to be compassionate and to forgive all our offences. We are assured of His compassion, His mercy and His love.
Sweetheart, today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Season of Lent, and this seems a good day to invite us to return to God. But everyday should be one where we confidently turn to God. So let us return to Him because He awaits our arrival.