Reflection for the week of February 11-17, 2024

by Sr. Margaret Proskovec, ND

If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.  Ps 95:8

Reading 1 ~ Joel 2:12-18

Return to me with your whole heart, fasting, weeping, and mourning.

Reading 2 ~ 2 Cor. 5: 20-6:2

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the time of salvation

This week brings us to the beginning of Lent.  The readings for Ash Wednesday speak of God’s longing for us to come close, to let God’s love and grace flow into our lives.

In my ministry at the county jail in my town, a basic message for the women who come to our prayer sessions is that “There is nothing God wants more than for us to let God into the deepest places in our heart.”  We see in Jesus that if we allow his loving touch to do so, he will bring healing and hope to the places of fear, anger, hurt, and shame that we hide from others – and ourselves.

This journey to healing and hope does not happen all by itself.  It is a process of our responding more freely and fully to what God calls us to become.  Lent is a “very acceptable time” to find ways of coming closer to God in prayer, to be honest with ourselves before God and face the barriers which hold us back from loving more freely, to seek out sources of support, … and to share this sacred journey with others.  “Now is the time of salvation.”

In these sacred days, let us “Turn from sin and believe in the Gospel.”  Amen.