Because of His Promising Mercy, We Can Enter into God’s Glorious Hope

February 11, 2018

This Wednesday the season begins.  While society marks the day with acts of love, we will embrace the sign of God’s ultimate love.  We will be signed with the sign of the cross.  This sign of love will invite us to enter a season in order to gain awareness of the promise of God’s mercy and the need to stand in His glorious hope.  What we do, what we give up, what we add to our schedule to get us to this place is private, as the readings of Ash Wednesday remind us.  Opportunities unfold for us, talks by Fr. Steven Borello will offer insight, Stations of the Cross each Friday will show us the cost of mercy.  Soup and Bread gathers families to a simple meal and Peace and Justice will bring awareness of global issues that first Friday in Lent.  All of this is just an offering.

In front of the altar will be a fence post with barbed wire.  Each week we will be invited to ask ourselves what are we keeping out and what is on the outside of our lives that we won’t let in?  Paradoxically we will also ask, what are we keeping in and what are we fencing in that we protect and safeguard?  Ultimately we will have to ask if we are keeping the right things in and the right things out.

This Lent we are to touch God’s mercy by becoming merciful to others.  In this simple gesture, we offer hope.  Our society is struggling, the moral compass is being removed, breakdowns of the family, coupled with the insensitivity of communication, has brought us to a wasteland of poverty.  This Lent our actions of kindness and mercy can begin to bring a hope that leads to a glory given by God.  In forgiveness, mercy dwells.  So our journey begins there.  The hardest part of forgiveness is the forgiving of our very selves.

As ashes are traced and songs are sung, as Eucharist is prepared and God makes His love known, this Wednesday it is our chance to begin again.  It is our opportunity to start on a journey so profound that mercy and hope will unite and the glory of God will be revealed.

Let it begin with us.

Reverend John J. Ouper