Joel 2:12–18


This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. In a strange way, this is extremely beautiful. (When this happened a few years back, one friar joyfully declared “Lent is for lovers”!) Although this somber day of penance — second only to Good Friday for Catholics — may not seem to be about love, it actually is. The Book of Joel says, “Even now, says the Lord, / return to me with your whole heart.” Lent is about allowing the Lord to restore our hearts. Ash Wednesday calls our broken hearts forth from their weary exile, banishing from them every false and putrid love. In bowing our heads in penitence, we are returning to the One who first loved us, begging for our hearts to be filled with his love.


Lord, help me turn away from sin and embrace your mercy this Lenten season. May the ashes on my forehead remind me of my need for your forgiveness and the promise of eternal life. Amen.


Attend Mass this Ash Wednesday and receive the blessed ashes. Invite Jesus to come into your heart in a new way this Lent.

We look forward to praying with you again tomorrow.