HOMILY - ASH WEDNESDAY
MARCH 6, 2019
7:00 AM, 12:00 NOON ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASS
Organizing consultant Marie Kondo has her own particular organizational method she calls the “KonMari” method.
She refers to what she does as “tidying up,” as opposed to “cleaning up.”
“Cleaning up,” she says, is something that you do to your surroundings. “Tidying up” is not so much about getting rid of things, but about making a choice … or deciding how to live … and what you want to keep in your life.
Marie Kondo stresses that we should only hold onto the things that “spark joy.”
The first step, she says, is to make an enormous pile of all the things you have, and then when you see all of this in one place, you can choose the things that truly “spark joy” … and let go of the rest as not essential to your life.
We find ourselves this morning at the cusp of Holy Lent.
Today is Ash Wednesday.
Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” can give us a way to apply Lent to our daily lives.
Just as “tidying up” differed from “cleaning up” – where one was externally focused and the other internally focused … Lent should be less a period of “self-improvement” and more of a time of “self-reflection” and “self-discovery.”
Over these next 40 days, we can take an assessment of our heart, mind, and soul – looking at all that we are and all that we do. And instead of looking at Lent as a time of “giving things up,” we can approach Lent from the perspective of what do we want to hold on to … and what do we want to get rid of … keeping only the things that “spark joy” and letting go of what doesn’t.
When the 40 days are over, we will hopefully find ourselves in a better place … as better people … living a better life. But even more so: in a holier place ... as holier people ... living a holier life.
We have 6 weeks to examine the enormous pile of experiences, memories, attitudes, and ideas that make up our life. And we can choose, not only those things that “spark joy,” but the things that also “spark” love, peace, perseverance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
These are the 12 gifts of the Holy Spirit, and these are all given to us as a foretaste of heaven on earth.
Let us take this season of Lent to “tidy up” our hearts, minds, and souls … in order to draw closer to God … taking it as a time of “self-reflection” and “self-discovery” … to learn who we are, and to gain a clearer vision of who God is. Let us choose to live the life of heaven here on earth, holding onto only those things which “spark” love, joy, peace, perseverance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control … and living that way each day … in everything we say … and everything we do.