Ash Wednesday (Fr. Simham)
I remember a story about a horse and its rider. The horse was galloping at full speed. A bystander, amazed at the wild sight, cried to the rider: ‘Where are you going?’ The riders answer was……………….”Don’t ask me; ask my horse!”
Friends, this may be simple little story, but it has got so much to tell us as we begin the season of lent. Lent is the time when we ask ourselves, ‘Where are we going?’ What are the horses that are pulling us where they want? In Indian tradition they say, “Human body or person is like a chariot drawn by five horses. And these five horses pull us in five different direction. And they need to be bridled and directed.” How true it is? Jesus gives us three things that will help us in this process for this lent. 1) PRAYER 2) FASTING 3) ALMSGVING. Try these in the lent. Talk to you later.
Today we begin our season of Lent. Lent is a time of “Repentance”. To repent means to turn back. Turn back from sin and turn towards God. An essential part of our repentance is sincere sorrow for our sins. That is what is represented in the rich symbolism of Ash-Wednesday. You mark yourself with ashes as a sign of repentance and remorse for your sins. This tradition comes from the Old testament. In the old testament people used ashes to symbolise their sincere sorrow for their sins and repentance. Confer the book of Job where people of Nineve used ashes to show their repentance.
The whole season of lent is for this purpose. That is why in the gospel today, there are three things that are suggested as acts of penance and repentance for this lent. They are: 1. PRAYER, 2. FASTING and 3. ALMSGIVING. And our Lord Jesus says, ‘Do all these things not to show-case your piety or goodness but to please the Lord and re-establish that broken relationship with the Lord and Father who sees all things that are done in secret.’
So let this season of Lent be a wonderful time of repentance and re-union with the Lord. Amen
Fr. Showreelu Simham