Are you ready to die to sin? The prophet Joel uses the custom of tearing garments as a symbol of grief, but takes it a step farther. The tearing of the garment is to expose the broken heart. Joel calls for tearing the heart itself.
This is because our sin causes a deeper loss than even the loss of a cherished loved one. Sin breaks the heart, which is where our loving God dwells. Sin is a type of death that without God, remains eternal.
But as bad as our sin is, God’s love and mercy is that much more good. God loves us. And if our broken heart is contrite, it can be made whole again by God.
Lent is a time where we are invited to allow God to fix our broken hearts. That requires something from each of us, however. We must be willing to die to our sinfulness. We must be willing to allow God to change us, to convert us.
This is what the sacrifice we take on during Lent is all about. We need to recognize our brokenness and our poverty by surrendering something dear to us, or taking on something that helps reinforce our need to change.
Let us pray.
God, as we begin this season of Lent, help us to recognize first our sinfulness but more importantly your mercy and forgiveness. Bless our efforts to do penance so that we may come to detest our sinfulness and embrace your love. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.
Music: Cheezy Piano Medley by Alexander Nakarada