Ash Wednesday year A

Theme: A season of grace

Today is Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the Lenten season for this liturgical year A. It is a day of fasting and abstinence. It presents us the opportunity to be true children of God that we are all called to be. An opportunity for us to level the mountains in our lives and fill the valley. The prophet Joel in the 1st reading of today prepares us for the season as it unfolds. It is not a season for externalism, or for people to notice all the sacrifices we are making because of lent. It is rather an opportunity for us to mend our ways and build a good relationship with God and our neighbours.

 It is an opportunity for us to let go our bad habits and the things we do that we are not proud of and embrace the virtues Jesus and the holy men and women in the scriptures. It is a season of Gods grace and a wonderful opportunity for us to become the best person that we are capable of becoming. There is need for commitment as we begin this year’s Lenten season, whatever resolution you make, do your best to see it through. Just make up your mind and pick an aspect of your life to work on during this Lenten season and present it to God in prayer. We are all in need of Gods mercy and none of us is perfect, so we all have something to work on in our lives. Remember, you are not competing with anybody, be prayerful and do your best; the grace of God will speak for you.

Dearly beloved in Christ, it is a call to repentance and an opportunity for us to reconcile with ourselves, God, and our neighbours. There is no better time to seek the mercy of God than during this season of lent. One thing you must know is that whatever you are able to leave throughout the season of lent, can be removed from your life completely with discipline and commitment. Sometimes, it is as if we are holy during the period of lent and after the Lenten season we go back to our normal style of life. This is not good, it is expected that the vices and bad habits we drop during this season of lent will not be allowed back into our lives. Sometimes people do very wonderful penance and abstinence during lent, but immediately Easter comes, they get back everything they gave up during the Lenten season. For instance, someone may give up drinking or smoking during this period of lent and immediately it is Easter, they double their consumption.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, let us make honest and sincere effort during this season of lent, so that it will count in our lives. Just know that whatever you desire to remove from your life, is very possible. Trust on Gods grace and give it your best, you will be surprised at what God will do for you. Just give it your best and allow the grace of God to support you. It is my prayer that this year’s Lenten season will bear wonderful fruits in our lives, families and in the world. May almighty God bless all your efforts during this season of God’s grace in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Homily for Ash Wednesday, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp