Heart to Heart, Vol. 7, No. 3 - Ash Wednesday 2022
1st Reading: Joel 2:12-18
2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Each year I am struck by the first two words of today’s reading from the Prophet Joel – Even now. Even now, in the midst of disease, division, and despair. Even now, in the midst of escalating violence, racism, and ecological crises. Even now when we feel most weary, lost, and vulnerable. The prophet reminds us that yes, even now, especially now, God longs for us to return “with our whole hearts.” And Pope Francis says something very similar: “Lent is a journey that involves our whole life, our entire body” [2021 Ash Wednesday Homily].
What all of this says to me is that no matter the present condition of our world, our society, family and our very selves, even now it’s not too late to rend our hearts and allow our God who is “gracious and merciful” to guide us through these weeks of Lent to the transformation of Easter. Let us find consolation in knowing that we walk this Lenten journey together.
How is my heart as I begin this Lenten journey?
—Jean Hopman, OSU
St. Louis, MO
As we observe Ash Wednesday this year, we also keep in our hearts and prayers and fasting the people of Ukraine as we respond to Pope Francis' invitation "for everyone to take part on March 2, Ash Wednesday, in a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Ukraine, in order to be near the suffering Ukrainian people, to be aware that we are all brothers and sisters, and to implore God for an end to the war."
USA Ursulines Roman Union the Heart to Heart newsletter Team