A Happy Return

There is always a burning desire in each Christian to have the joy of a close intimacy with the Lord.   This desire is not easily fulfilled because of our various engagements.  Lent offers an ideal opportunity to achieve this objective.  Lent is a time in our personal lives for new life to appear, and old frozen attitudes to disappear. Lent is a time of  meditative reading of Scripture and time of listening.   It is a time of coming back  (a Happy Return) to a God who is already waiting and loving us.  It is a time of special penance and personal evaluation.  We are reminded of the words of Christ that unless you do penance you shall all likewise perish.  "Take up your cross and follow me" Mt. 16:24.

Joel warns that the Day of Yahweh is near and pleads, in Yahweh's name for heartfelt repentance.  We are invited to return to God and be reconciled with him in such a way that our relationship with him will remain intimate and lasting.   Obviously in reconciling with God we should also be reconciled with our neighbours.    "Return to me with all your heart" (Joel 2:12,)   St. Paul reminds us that Lent is the "acceptable time ...the day of salvation"(2 Cor. 6:2)

The ashes we use on Ash Wednesday remind us that if we have to rise to new life of pure joy, we have to acknowledge that our relationship with God has not been close enough, and hence we need to return to him with a broken heart.  Finally our penance and almsgiving must be undertaken with the right intentions and not for ostentatious or selfish motives..