Ash Wednesday 2-26-2020

Ann was so thrilled. Her mom and dad had given her a new car. It
was big and red and had a great sound system. “Ann, this belongs to
you. The only thing we ask is that you take care of it.”
“Oh, I will, I will”, she said. And it looked like she did. I mean,
every morning she got up and washed all the car windows. And every
afternoon, she washed the whole car. And every evening she polished
the car by hand.
Nevertheless, in less than a year, the car was making terrible
sounds. And finally it quit running completely.
At first, she was ashamed to tell her father. But finally she went to
her parents, in tears, and burst out “there’s something wrong with the
car. It’s not working anymore”.
After a long conversation they realized what was wrong. “Ann”,
her father explained, “it’s not enough to keep the outside of the car
pretty. The most important part of the car is the inside. You never
changed the oil; you never checked the battery; you never tuned the
engine”. “Will you help me fix the car, daddy?” said Ann. “Yes of course
I will. But there’s one thing I would like you to do. Just for today. I
want you to take a handful of mud and smear it on the front hood of the
car. Just for today. It will help you remember that what is really
important about a car is its inside”.
It might seem strange to you, what that father is asking. But God
is asking you to do the same thing today. A lot of times, we give a lot of
attention to taking care of the outside of ourselves. We bathe our
bodies; we comb our hair; we brush our teeth; and we put on nice
clothes.
That’s all good. We should. But there’s something more
important about us. Our souls. That’s the part inside us. God says
today: Take care of your souls. Put some ashes on your forehead to
remind you that the most important thing about you is what’s inside.
That’s the part of you I want to take care of. That’s the part of you I
want to turn into pure love.
We are lucky to have Lent.

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