Since deciding to join a liturgical church, I’ve been struck by the Gospel Reading for the Holy Eucharist Today:
And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
But at the same time, the prophet Daniel tells us:
Then I turned to the Lord God, to seek an answer by prayer and supplication with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
and the prophet Isaiah says:
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
So, today, I washed my face, showered, packed a lunch (with no meat), and received the imposition of ashes.
The imposition of ashes and all of the other traditions associated with Ash Wednesday are beautiful. They remind us that we truly are “stardust.” Despite our stress, our desires, and our deeds, we are merely specks of dust in the universe.
Thankfully, despite our insignificance, God gave his only son Jesus Christ that we might attain Salvation.
As this is the first day of Lent, I’ve been trying to decide what my Fast or Rule will entail over these next 40 days.
To begin, I’m going to give up alcohol with an ABV over 20%. I should also try to fast from beer, but… maybe next year?
I’m going to try to conform with the Catholic practice of no meat on Fridays or other fast days. So, my lunch today is a PB&J.
I’m going to try to brew my own coffee and pack my own lunch. We’ll see how this goes.
I’m also going to try to remember to say the Noonday Office each weekday.
So, therefore, I wish you all a Holy Lent. May we each find true repentance through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.