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All Issues > Volume 14, Issue 2


<< Wednesday, February 25, 1998 >> Ash Wednesday
 
Joel 2:12-18
2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2

View Readings
Psalm 51
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Similar Reflections
 

LENT FREES

 
"Even now, says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting..." —Joel 2:12
 

In Lent, we imitate Jesus when He was led by the Spirit into the desert. Here He fasted for forty days and overcame the temptations of the evil one (Mt 4:1ff). Through fasting, Jesus experienced great freedom (Is 58:6). Thus, He emerged from the desert in the power of the Spirit (Lk 4:14) to proclaim the good news of freedom to captives and release to prisoners (Lk 4:18). After His forty-day fast, Jesus announced the ultimate freedom of an everlasting Jubilee Year (Lk 4:19; Lv 25:8ff).

In Lent, we should imitate both Jesus' fasting and His freedom. We must repent of being a cowardly, cowering church, chained and leashed by the world. This Lent, by God's grace, let's shatter "the gates of brass and burst the bars of iron" and break out of self-made, sin-made prisons (Ps 107:16). May we be unleashed and unbridled, moving about at large (Ps 31:9), and set free in the open (Ps 18:20; 2 Sm 22:20).

Lent should lead to the ultimate freedom of the resurrection. If we let the risen Lord set us free, we are really free (Jn 8:36). Lent frees.

 
Prayer: Father, may the ashen cross on my forehead indicate freedom from the fear of death and freedom for evangelization.
Promise: "Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!" —2 Cor 6:2
Praise: During his lunch hour, Peter leads a Bible study for his coworkers.
 
 
 
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997
 
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 14, Issue 2
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