Listen to this from the first reading again:
Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble
and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.
On this “Fat Tuesday,” what more could we rejoice in but our God who is trustworthy, compassionate and merciful? I just thought that last part of the first reading was so wonderfully uplifting, and it really sets our hearts on the right path for Lent. Tomorrow we enter into that sacred and penitential time, but we don’t do that because we’re bad people and God-forsaken. We do that to get closer to our God who loves us enough to be our source of protection against the storms of life and the forgiver of our sins. Our God is a God who moved heaven and earth to send us his only Son for our salvation. Our God is One that we can celebrate this Lent as we change our hearts to love him more, to love him more like he loves us.
What are you giving up this Lent? How will you be responding to the call for fasting, prayer and almsgiving? What is it that you will change in your life? Whatever you do, I hope you do it with great joy, knowing that our God can be trusted with our very lives and with our eternal salvation.