Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Ambassadorial Self

Ash Wednesday

I invite you to read the first half of the second reading for the Ash Wednesday liturgy.  We read a part of St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians.  I call you attention to the first verse.  It is important for all of us who wish from the beginning day of Lent to the celebration of the Lord Jesus' Resurrection to be able to say "I had a good Lent!"

Let me draw your attention to these words: "We are ambassadors for Christ ...."  When the President of the United States wishes to appoint someone to serve as the President's personal representative, usually to a foreign nation, after all the necessary vetting is completed and the choice is made, the President calls the person.  His conversation may well begin with words such as these:  "(first name), I am calling to ask you to be my personal representative in the role of Ambassador."

Well,  on this Ash Wednesday, stop to think about the vocation of Ambassador -- not for the President but for God.  Yes, today God is asking you to be his personal representative for this season of Lent.  For forty day you are being asked to accomplish three duties: (1) a little more time in prayer; (2) make a sacrificial giving to someone in genuine need; and (3) to attempt at least one day a week of fasting.  And the pay is more than you would ever expect on this first day of Lent.

As God's Ambassador, you will a source of grace for others.  Your prayer and willingness to sacrifice support for some in need and trying your best to fast one day each week will change you.  As momentous as this challenge may seem as you look to the top of "Mt. Lent," when you have finished these forty days, you will recognize in yourself a major accomplishment that brings with it much interior satisfaction.

Through your prayer you may well be a model to someone you don't even know.  You may change the life of another person by your charity.  You might find that you really don't need to eat as much as you do on a regular basis and your waistline may be somewhat slimmer!

Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit.
(Ps 51:14)