Ash Wednesday – 2023
This Lenten season, we have a fresh opportunity to embrace God’s amazing love for us, His baptized children, in new ways. St. Paul clearly says that “faith comes from hearing” (Romans 10:17), but the Gospel is also communicated through the physical senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste. Jesus mentions that a good teacher not only brings out new treasures but reminds people of old and rich treasures as well (see Matthew 13:52). So each Wednesday in Lent, we will take a weekly journey to concretely see, smell, touch, and taste a number of biblical elements. Our Lenten series is called Promised Treasures. Just as Israel wandered through the wilderness under Moses for forty years, awaiting the Promised Land, we await heaven in the wilderness of this life. Life as exiles in the wilderness of this world is not easy and pain-free. In this vale of tears, we await our real home, the new promised land of heaven. Until we enter our eternal promised land, however, the Lord calls us to be His light in this dark world (see Colossians 3; Ephesians 4). This series will begin with ashes, then proceed to salt, water, light, bread, and finally, palms. Then, during Holy Week, the focus shifts toward water and blood, wood, fragrant oil, and finally, on Easter, milk and honey. All these beautiful Old and New Testament elements will remind you of God’s eternal love in Christ, fill you with renewed hope, and increase your joy, knowing that because we are His baptized children, God is near to us now more than ever.