(Joel 2:12-18; II Corinthians 5:2—6:2; Matthew 6:1-16.16-18)
“Margaret, are you weeping…” Gerard Manley Hopkins begins one of his famous poems. The author is about to contemplate death. “It is the blight of man,” he says. It is also our starting point in Lent.
Signs of deaths become evident as we grow old. We lose our vigor, our beauty, and our memory. The ashes put on our foreheads today confirm what seniors know with increasing alarm. Our bodies will turn into dust. We need to ask ourselves, “Am I living in accord with the hope I have for salvation from non-existence?”
The Church proposes the season of Lent to realign ourselves. Now is the time to make every effort to live so that we might share in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. We pray to God for help. We let go of distractions from our purpose. And we assist the needy as our sure way of overcoming death’s blight.