Ash Wednesday in the Covid Desert

Today we begin the season of Lent. Yes I know that this past year has felt like one long lent. We didn’t even really celebrate Easter last year. But here we are. In the desert again.

To be honest I still have a lot of repenting and conversion to do before I return to dust. The 1st reading for Mass today is heartbreaking yet full of hope:

Even now, says the LORD,
    return to me with your whole heart,
    with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
    and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
    slow to anger, rich in kindness,
    and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
    and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
    for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
    proclaim a fast,
    call an assembly;
Gather the people,
    notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
    gather the children
    and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
    and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
    let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
    and make not your heritage a reproach,
    with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
    and took pity on his people. Joel 2:12-18

The culture we live in today is one without forgiveness or mercy. But we know that God’s love is merciful and just. He is always ready to take us back not matter how great our sin. He will never cancel us, shun us or try to destroy us.

All he asks is that we repent of our sins and turn back to him with all of our hearts.

And cling with all our might to the cross of Christ.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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