Ash Wednesday 2019 Fr Michael Cawthon
The lesson appointed for the Epistle is written in book of Joel:
Turn ye even to me…with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning…turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful.
My friends, this is the first day of Lent – the period of preparation for that glorious mourning we call Easter.
It is a time that we earnestly and tirelessly “turn unto the Lord”…
It is a time of softening our hearts unto His grace – we become open as we strive to train our hearts, soul, and minds
on His unbridled love for us.
A time of Fasting (if we are physically able) – having two meals a day – sacrificing time and energy of the third meal to be with our lord
in prayer and meditation.
A time to weep as we confess our sins sincerely and earnestly, showing the depth of our fall from His grace
as the guilt of the past is washed away with the tears of sorrow.
From this “lowering of oneself” we arise as a new person as we turn to our God for healing,
For He is gracious and yes He is merciful to all those who do truly turn to him with “hearty repentance and true faith.”
Use this Lenten period wisely…
For in the Gospel of St. Matthew we are told:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth:
“where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
We are to turn away from the treasures of this world… those lesser things that we so often put above God.
Let us prioritize our days and our work to show reverence to our Lord.
Those things that separate us from our God: remove them so that they do not distract you from God.
The Treasure that you are to seek now
is the treasure of God’s love.
This treasure is to be cherished and strengthened – it is to be guarded and protected from this evil world in which we live –
a world that is contrary to God and it is often a world that hates God.
The darkness of this world will always fail where there is God;
as it cannot withstand the beam of the light that is our God.
The treasures that you are to build are of the ones that are eternal…ones that do not fade away.
A treasure that actually strengthens over time.
The treasures of God are above any treasure of this world,
and the value of God’s Treasures are of more value than anything to be found with this world.
A treasure that is eternal is far greater than a treasure that rots and rust away.
One day of this treasure of heaven is greater than a thousand days within the treasures of this world.
What God is offering to each and every one of you
is a peace and joy that cannot be measured –
that is even above our ability to understand or to fully grasp.
Use His church during this Lenten period to walk with He who will give His life in order to save you.
The Sacraments – partake often, the devotions such as Stations of the Cross do not miss…
Emerge yourself totally within His Body – His Church (which is your church) – during this Lenten Period.
Use this time to prepare for that glorious morning when we will greet one another with the words – “He is Risen.”
Be by His side this Lenten period as you desire Him to be by your side of the final day of judgement…
Let Him be your treasure…
Just as you – are His.