Below is a summary of Fr. Bob’s Ash Wednesday Homily.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent – a time to take stock of our lives. Fr. Bob asked the question, “How many times have we gone through this penitential season only to be the same or worse when Easter arrives?” He remarked on the “comfortable culture” we live in, which perhaps poses great danger to remain complacent. However, now is the time where we are marked by our own mortality. We are reminded that we are not eternally on this earth. We have an obligation to live a considered life. We enter into the economy of salvation…by making sacrifice. We are reminded that Jesus nailed to the cross is the perfect sacrifice. When we make sacrifices we unite our sacrifice with the one and perfect sacrifice, and are then drawn into the holiness of God.
Fr. Bob suggested we give thoughtful look at three main areas:
1) Vanity: Do I do things to be noticed? Am I self-absorbed?
2) Pride: Do I look down on others? Judge others? Grow angry?
3) Comfort: Are there any areas of my life in which I’m so comfortable that I don’t give even a thought to change in these areas?
With these three areas in mind, he suggested developing a personal Lenten program:
1) Make a contract with the Lord: What are those things I will sacrifice to help grow in holiness? What are those areas of my life that I want to improve upon? Write it down.
2) Go to confession: It’s the most liberating and freeing thing we can do! It’s a once-per-year obligation for Catholics. Fr. Bob challenged us to make a good confession this Lent. Seek out a time at one of the ten parishes in town.
3) Finally, pray to the Holy Spirit: for light to see what we are not able to see; and for guidance to help us grow in self-knowledge and in strength so that we may be better and more holy when Easter arrives.