Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of “turning around.” In the first languages of the Bible, Hebrew and Greek, the words we hear in translation for “repentance” or “conversion” have the same root meaning: “to turn.” But a turning with deep and profound implications, a fundamental change in direction, the sort of reorientation that changes minds and hearts. Lent is a time to stop and check our bearings and to realize what turns we have to make along the crooked roads we travel.
Use this time wisely. An activity taken up during Lent will have some long term benefit only if it affords us the opportunity to turn to the Lord, to focus our actions on God and neighbor with clearer vision and with greater attention.
Repentance and conversion are not momentary experiences detached from everyday life. They are the never-completed hard work of becoming, growing and turning:
Keep in mind that NOW is the acceptable time and TODAY is the day of salvation.
- Turning away from whatever unjustly steals our time and energy and turning towards the loving embrace of friends and family.
- Turning away from idols of wealth and prestige that take the place that take the place of the Holy One and turning towards the things of God we hold dear in our hearts.
- Turning from despair to hope.
- Turning from bareness to fullness.
- Turning from death to life.