YEAR A: HOMILY FOR ASH WEDNESDAY
HOMILY THEME: FAST AND ABSTINENCE; PRAYER AND CHARITY
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: READINGS: JOEL 2:12-18, PSALM 51, 2CORINTHIANS 5:20-6:2, MATTHEW 6:1-6.16-18
PRAY FOR NIGERIA
√•For an end to terrorism, banditry
√•God save us this time
Consciously or unconsciously, Lent is taken may seriously in comparison to the other liturgical seasons of the Church. It’s a time of intense PRAYER, committed FASTING and a saving CHARITY or almsgiving. It begins on Ash Wednesday with the imposition of ashes and ends on Holy Thursday afternoon. The season of Lent prepares us for Easter, the greatest feast of the Liturgical Year.
It is a retreat which affords man the ample opportunity to make a conscious self, a redress, a metanoia; changing from bad (evil) to good, good to better, and better to best. Brethren in the Lord, three things stand during lent: we intensify our prayers, praying as Jesus instructed in Matthew 6:6-7 privately and discreetly. Also, we take the call to fasting (fasting without being noticed) and abstinence more seriously. Finally, we reach out more to the needy through almsgiving – giving without expecting commendation or reward (Matt. 6:2-3).
Today, we join Jesus our master as we begin this all important journey of our lives. However, in order to make this journey fruitful, we ought to be at right with God and man hence the first reading comes in handy. The prophecy of Joel 2:12ff exhorts us to turn from evil and return to good; it calls us to true contrition, repentance and righteousness. It reminds us of God’s mercy and compassion, how he hates sin but loves the sinner especially he that is ready to repent.
Beloved, now is the time we have to embrace the promised salvation, tomorrow might be late. For St. Paul, now is the acceptable time, the day of salvation, a time to be reconciled to God through Christ who took on our sinful nature in order to make us righteous (2Cor. 5:20-6:2). Ash Wednesday reminds us of our nothingness and our greatness – the MORTALITY OF OUR BODIES AND THE ETERNITY OF OUR SOULS.
Beloved, the body upon which we lavish so much attention and care will return necessarily to dust whilst the soul that we often ignore and are careless about lives eternally. Ash Wednesday therefore is a wakeup call; a call to identify that which really matters and do the needful. Today, we begin not a journey shrouded in gloom and misery, but one garnished with hope, hope in Easter, and hope that after our journey with Christ this Lent, our MORTALITY (body) WOULD GIVE WAY TO OUR IMMORTALITY (soul).
FEED AND EDUCATE ONE