Today we will hear those words "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." They are the words God said to Adam and Eve when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. When all that he had was so suddenly taken from him, Job said "naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (cf. Job 1:20)
The beginning of 2013 has certainly been a rocky start for Nicole and myself. We experienced some unexpected car trouble that kept me away from a formation workshop-the first such formation-related event I have ever missed, and I hope the last. We then experienced a series of unexpected minor calamities, none of which would be a very big deal by themselves, but which, happening all at once, had the effect of depleting the bank account unexpectedly. Then my grandmother passed away, although we knew it was coming. At the end of this past week, a cousin of Nicole's had his life brought to an end at a youthful age. Last night at RCIA, I learned that not only was a dear friend who is part of our RCIA team having chest pains, but that he was told by his doctor to go immediately to hospital. The early weeks of this Year of Our Lord 2013 have shown us how fragile and delicate our lives are.
We are blessed to serve a God of second chances, and Lent is all about second chances. It is a season of conversion and repentance and penance on the one hand, and renewal and refreshment and new life (as we know we move toward Easter and the Lord's Resurrection). However, Lent is also a reminder to us that taking advantage of God's mercy is our choice, and we only have one life to do it in. That, coincidentally, is why you see the clock on the left sidebar of this blog. Yes, you will be able to tell the time by . More importantly, however, it is my hope that it will serve as a reminder that God's me for us in this world is finite-each of us has one life to do our part for the Kingdom of God.
Some will hear the words today "turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." We are called to a life of fidelity to God, and today is a reminder that no matter what we might have done, Christ is ready to receive us in love all over again.