Friday after Ash Wednesday year A

Theme: Be mindful!

The 1st reading from the prophet Isaiah points out the fact that our Lenten observances should be holistic. What this means is that as we carry out our observances, we must also use the opportunity to perform good acts that will glorify God. For instance, as we fast, we must ensure that we also use the opportunity to forgive those who have offended us in one way or the other, be generous to those in need, not to be involved in any form of exploitation or oppression, not to also manipulate other people for our personal gains. When we do all this and more, the prophet said we will call on God and he will come to our assistance. We cannot be performing our Lenten observances like fasting, prayer and almsgiving, while we are oppressing, manipulating, and holding people captive. We must be mindful of all these during this season of God’s grace, if we truly want to reap the fruits that emanates from our Lenten observances.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, all these put together, is part of the self-giving that we are encouraged to practice during this season of lent. Granted, it is not going to be an easy task, but remember also that nothing good comes easily. We have to be ready to make sacrifices so that all our effort will be good enough at the end. Great men and women of faith that we celebrate today in Christendom paid a price, and you and I cannot run away from it. The good news is that as we make honest effort to attain holiness of life, the grace of God will continue to support us. No matter the situation, never say I cannot make such sacrifices, just give it your best and trust in God. Remember that you are not relying solely on yourself, you are relying also on Gods grace; with God everything is possible.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, during this period of lent the Lord is inviting us in a very special way to mortify the flesh and embrace more of the things of the spirit. We have to pray more, fast, abstain, give alms, practice all of them sincerely for the greater glory of God and for the good of humanity. Let us all make effort to become a better version of ourselves, as we carry on your Lenten observances. May almighty God bless your resolve to have a wonderful Lenten season in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Friday after Ash Wednesday, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp