Thought for Ash Wednesday in the Year of Our Lord 2012 from the Parish Priest
Today is a day -one of two for Catholics- of fasting and abstinence.
We fast and abstain and it all sounds like a grand gesture. It also sounds a bit quaint, and that’s partly because we don’t live in a fast and feast sort of world. Fish is pricey and preferred, celebrity chefs tell us to cook so-called cheap cuts, half the world has far too much to eat the other half is starving.
So if we try to make the grand gesture we risk it falling flat on its face. Moreover, if we try to tell our friends that we’re fasting for spiritual rather than waistline motives, we risk being laughed all the way home.
Today then is not about a grand gesture but a deep seriousness, a seriousness about God and the things of God.
Jesus, God’s son reminds us to pray.
Let us be attentive to God.
Let us turn to Him and recognise that we are dependent upon Him.
Let us pray and pray most of all in the heart of the Church before the Heart of the Lord, the living presence of Jesus in the tabernacle.
Jesus, God’s son reminds us to give.
Let us be attentive to others.
Let us reach out to others and recognise our power to do good.
Let us give most of all for the relief of the poor and hungry.
Jesus, God’s son reminds us fast.
Let us be attentive to self.
Let us thank God for the wonder of our being.
Let us do all within our power to live a healthy, balanced life.
Let us fast most of all for our own deep cleansing of those things which clog up our spiritual selves and weigh down the dignity which God desires for each of us.
No grand gestures then, just the beginning again in a very basic course of what it is to be follower of Jesus Christ. Are you ready to begin again the course?