Yesterday I was jogging at the Tilburg University in Holland. I saw on the wall a text: "The question remains: is there anything outside of our heads?" We don't know any more if things are real. Are things real? Is Jesus real? Is Jesus God? The first reading says: "Why should it be said among the nations”, “where is their God?” The world believes less and less in life, and much less in God. Why does the world believe less and less in God?
The second reading says: "We are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God." We are ambassadors for Christ. But are we effective ambassadors? Why are people in Maidenhead not finding a connection with God through us? Do we still believe that our faith is able to attract the people we meet?
What should we do? We don't know what to do. The answer is not a strategy towards others. At stake is to do something for myself. We must do something for ourselves. Jesus says to us today: 'Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice'. ‘Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks – come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning.’ Conversion! We need to let ourselves be attracted again by the presence of Christ. We are busy with everything but Christ. In some moments of prayer, perhaps, we stay in front of Him, but not within real, everyday life.
Do those who keep in touch with us, find something in us that conquers their life? If we are detached from Christ, what can we offer? The question is a question of faith. Once Jesus said; 'When the son of man will return on earth, will he find faith?' Do we believe that Jesus is God coming to us and saving us or is this rather a nice tale as a child can believe? Do we believe that life changes completely when we reconnect with God or is this something only for the weak. ? Do I believe that by following some people I follow Jesus and that by following Jesus I follow God?
The Lenten tide is given to us as a time to intensify our relationship with Jesus Christ, God the Son. Coming to receive the ashes we say: Lord, we are nothing, we are sinners. We come to You and confess our need for You. We ask You for help. Grant us our own conversion with You! Change our life in such a powerful way that others can recognise you as a loving presence. Prayers (start the day with a prayer, conclude the day in the same way, reading good books like the Gospel, Mass at weekdays...), fasting (sacrifices, less TV, less Internet...) alms (voluntary aid giving to people in need or to the community, good deeds...) are essential to restart our connection with Him. Do you already know what extra you are going to do during this time in order to keep closer and closer to God?