Ash Wednesday: a time to start anew

In this reflection, taken from our Lent calendar for Ash Wednesday, Catherine from our Theology team considers the opportunity that Lent offers us to make a fresh start.

Ash Wednesday, 17 February, is the first day of Lent. As the long journey to Easter stretches before us, it is time to take stock, to reflect on our lives and to make a new start. 

‘Now, now’ – it is the Lord who speaks – ‘come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning.’

Joel 2:12

We are called to make a change – to spend more time in prayer, to fast and go without something, to remember what is truly important, and to share what we have with others who are in need. 

What changes will you make this Lent?  

After the difficult year that we have had, we need to take time to heal, and to find new ways of being a community. Perhaps we find comfort in today’s first reading from Joel, which reminds us that we are called to turn back to God who is tenderness and compassion, rich in mercy.  

We turn to God, who gives us the strength to turn outwards to our brothers and sisters. As we have also been reminded this year, we are all connected. We are all part of one human family, with the same hopes and dreams and fears. 

Lent, then, is a time to renew our relationships, with God and with one another. Let us commit today to doing just that. 

Use our prayer resources throughout Lent

A Lent commitment

So, let’s commit to making time this Lent for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Take part in our Walk for Water or eat a simple meal on Family Fast Day. Make time to pray and reflect with us each day.   

Ash Wednesday Prayer

God of love, fill my heart with your compassion and mercy. Throughout my Lenten journey inspire me to come to know you better and to reach out in love to others. Amen.  

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