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Return to Me

Ash Wednesday is a little like Christmas for me. There are special foods to be prepared, special Masses to attend, and I am different in the season of giving (or giving up as it happens to be). It is a time for me to remember that God loves me in my ugliness. I have so many bad habits and moments of unkindness in my heart, that my soul could use a good scrubbing and a makeover!

I also find that I become easily distracted. It is as if there is so much to do and taste and see, that I wander away from the Lord. Like a child in a toy store, I get lost in the sights and sounds around me. I am swallowed up in the flavors of the day, and all I want is more. Too much happiness becomes too much forced happiness. If I just spend a little more money, eat a little more cake, watch one more show, sleep in a few more minutes, then I will be happy. Then, I will be able to buy my family's love. I am so broken.

Jesus gives me a do-over every year. He invites me home to Him, and He tells me He loves me. He tells me I don't need more. I need Him. I don't need to search for love. He is standing right beside me. I don't need to question the love of my family. Each one is a gift from the Creator to me. He included all the love like the batteries in those pink drumming bunnies from the 80s.

Even now, says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is He, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. Perhaps He will again relent and leave behind Him a blessing, offerings and libations for the Lord, your God. Joel 2: 12-14

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