Gospel Reflections

Feast of Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Elizabeth Smoyers

Published: February 18, 2015


It is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season!

 Everybody, stop everything!

Let our tomb - like hearts and systems
be broken open
in lament and compassion.

We weep as we see the bondage
of our cut-off-ness

 from the suffering, invisibility and aching of
those marginalized by our busyness:
the hungry of body and spirit,
the immigrants, the refugees, the trafficked,
and the fracked/de-forested/trash-heaped soil, oceans and rivers
of our earth.
All these peoples and places made poor
by systems of race, economics,
politics, religion
or our refusal to look.

We admit our greed and indifference

remembering that
“the Lord was stirred
to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.”

We allow grace to change us

 now,
in this chaotic and painful time.
For this time, we believe, is “very acceptable,”
a time rooted in the generative love that connects all.

We sense a wide and deep conscious connection

seeping up,
under and through
our small ego - size slice of “reality.”

We respond by

emptying out,
creating space in our hearts,
minds and choices:
praying, fasting, giving alms
in ways hidden from others’
approval and recognition.

We step into the mercy that holds all.

 

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