Wow! Ash Wednesday & Valentine’s Day on the same day! Hearts and Ashes in one fell swoop! Today is the day when we show our love for our spouses and loved ones, with valentines. It is also a day that we show our love for Christ, with ashes on our foreheads; marking ourselves as belonging to Christ. Today, we can consider the ashes on our foreheads as our own personal valentine to God, acknowledging Christ’s sacrifice on the cross because of His love for us.
Talk about bittersweet days! No hearts filled with assorted chocolates this year! Considering that Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence, there is no going out to dinner tonight either. Yet, the love of Christ is ever-present on this day, and we soak it up. I’ll give up a candy heart, and a steak dinner, knowing that Jesus loves me. There is no better Valentine than that! My fasting and abstinence is a small sacrifice of self-giving love back to Jesus for His sacrifice on the Cross.
Hearts and Ashes Lead to Love and Mercy
Lent is the season of Christ’s love and mercy, flowing from a font of grace. It is there for the taking. The question is, how do we respond to this gift of grace? Do we drink from the font of grace to free us from sin and temptations? Or do we succumb to the sin and temptations, thus denying the gift of grace? With each Ash Wednesday, we are given the opportunity to accept the font of Christ’s love and mercy. We are invited to turn away from the enslavement of sin and move toward the authentic freedom for which we were made. Lent is a time for cleansing. Let’s make the most of it with hearts and ashes!
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