Ash Wednesday – Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 / Ps. 51:1-17 / 11Cor. 5: 20b – 6: 10 / Matt. 6:1-6 , 16-21

Here we step into Lent.( It may be useful to return to our reflection for Feb. 9 as we read this gospel) We enter Lent with a mix of emotions/thoughts, this is reflected in the lessons for this day. In the Psalm the warrior king David was idle from his regular pursuits and distracted by the lass next door (11Sam. 11 &12)….. ‘What have I done ….How could I be so stupid’ ….”have mercy on me…. Instil some joy and gladness in me….Be my saviour again, renew my joy.”

Joel comes with something quite different; a locust plague, unstoppable and devouring the land. This natural phenomena is seen as a consequence of the sin, Godless self- indulgence, of the people. Perhaps one could suggest that adverse natural phenomena are a consequence of our indulgences, our ignorance, our arrogance; certainly Jesus makes it clear that bad stuff just happens, but can we ask, ‘are we so out of tune with nature and the Creator that we bring adversity on ourselves?’ Do some of the challenges of the prophets apply to us?