February 22: Ash Wednesday

The ashes we receive today come with a price. Something had to die and be burned. There was a flame, but it is gone now and all we have are the ashes. The season we begin today, in some ways, is really about that flame.

On the night of Easter’s Great Vigil, there will be fire again, and we shall take that flame into the darkness where it will light up our lives and hopefully light up our hearts – and any part of us that has gone dark. That is why today’s encouragement is to turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel. Our hope is to rise up from the ashes in order to be born anew.

The season we begin today, a season of conversion and repentance, of prayer and fasting (more deeply than before), is our time to rekindle the flame, the fervor, and the fire of our faith and, again, rise up.

These Forty Days are about much more than ashes. They are about Christ’s light – and about rediscovering something we may have too easily forgotten. In spite of sin and indifference, in spite of living in a world crowded by cynicism and doubt, we are still what our Baptism proclaimed us to be: we are “children of the light.”

Let us pray. “Father in heaven, the light of your truth bestows sight to the darkness of our sinful eyes. May this season of repentance bring us the blessing of your healing and forgiveness – and the gift of your light. Help us to rise up to the new hope which you alone can offer. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”


Our Ash Wednesday Masses at Holy Cross parish: 8:30am, 10am (School Mass), 5:30pm, and 7pm (Spanish).

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