Daily Meditation for February 10, 2023

In the movie “Groundhog Day,” a cynical, self-absorbed weatherman finds himself trapped in a time loop, forcing him to relive the same day over and over. He eventually escapes the trap by learning and practicing generosity and love. For some of us, Lent can feel like a time loop. As Ash Wednesday dawns, we find ourselves neck-deep in the same rut we were in last year. We make the same resolutions, secretly knowing that we won’t keep them. But then our neighbor traces a cross of ashes on our forehead and says, “Repent and believe the good news”—the news that God is present in us and among us, always calling us to justice, generosity, and freedom, for ourselves, but above all for people trapped in age-old ruts dug by prejudice and fear of those we call “the others.” Lent insists that our redemption is near at hand and that change in our lives and in the life of the world is always possible. Ash Wednesday says, “Begin again today.”

By Mara Faulkner, OSB