Belief in the incarnation places suffering bodies within the realm of Christian responsibility.
Lent | Ash Wednesday (Year C)
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
The lectionary readings for Ash Wednesday are the same each year. So it almost doesn’t feel like Ash Wednesday if I go through the day without hearing Psalm 51: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”
There’s irony and paradox in hearing Jesus’ instruction to carry out our religious practice in relative privacy—along with the proclamation of Joel 2—on Ash Wednesday. How on earth do we balance the quietness of our hearts with a public call to repentance?