Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday: Tear apart your hearts, not your garments... (Jl 2, 12-18)

The drastic expression "Tear apart your hearts, not your garments" in today's first reading, should be an invitation from God to all of us to remember that a broken or torn heart is always a heart that is ready for an encounter with the Lord. 

First of all it is a heart that is OPEN. We close our heart when we don't want to listen or feel or when we don't want to have compassion for someone. We seal it off when we pretend that we can solve any problem and when we pretend that we don't need God in our lives (this happens very often). A heart that is closed and hermetic is like a jail or a tomb. To open a heart that was closed and sealed is to help it breath, listen and feel. But to make it happen, especially if that heart (person) was too comfortable in its jail or tomb needs to be torn apart.
Lord, you know how much I need you and depend on you. You know my weakness and my faults. I put all my confidence in your love and mercy in my daily actions. I hope to learn to trust more in your power, your promise, and your grace. Lord, I wish to start this season of Lent with a sincere desire to grow in love, preparing myself worthily to celebrate the mysteries of your passion, death and resurrection.
Lord, help me learn to change what needs to change in my life.
Jesus, give me the grace to begin this Lent with great enthusiasm and love. Help me live it with joy, knowing that I am living it in your presence to please you and you alone.
I will make a Lenten program of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.


  1. We know that if a heart is torn open, you will bleed to death. When I hear "Tear your hearts, not your garments" I think it means - "be ready to give me your life, not just an outer covering"

    It's funny because if we are sick and we need an operation, we go in to see a doctor who tears us open, and we trust that he will put us back together again more heathy than we were before. But we don't trust Jesus the same way. Jesus says "you are sick, you need to be healed, I need to operate on you", but we say "no thanks, I'm fine". All the while sin is slowly killing us.

    We fear death much more than we fear sin, but because we don't fear sin and turn from it, we die.

    1. Well said! Besides, when we look at how much Jesus suffered in opening his Heart to us (literally!), how can we complain (?)...especially when we deserve it, & He didn't. Happy Lent!