Ash Wednesday is here again! Are you ready for Lent? No matter how you might answer this question, your Father in heaven is ready! He is ready to speak to you in prayer. He’s ready to forgive your sins, however great or small they are. He’s ready to make his home in you. He’s ready to lead you, step-by-step, to be a little bit more like him: to be a little holier, a little more loving, a better servant.
God Has Chosen You. Wouldn’t it be great if at the end of this Lent, you knew without a doubt that God has chosen you to be his special possession? Wouldn’t it be great if you became more convinced that he has appointed you to fulfill a mission that only you can do? Wouldn’t it be great if you became more confident that this mission would bear fruit in this world—fruit that will last? That would be an excellent Lent!
The truth is that no matter where you live, whether in a small apartment, a spacious home, a convent, a dorm room, or even a prison cell; no matter if you made it only through grade school or if you have a graduate degree; no matter whether your life is going really well or if you have struggles and suffering, God, your Father, has chosen you! You are his special possession. He has a mission for you that will bear fruit in the kingdom of God.
You may not believe that this is true, but God’s words spoken through the prophet Zechariah are just as true for us today as the day he first spoke them: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even if this should seem impossible in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it seem impossible in my eyes also?” (8:6). So let’s believe what we might not see because our heavenly Father is faithful and trustworthy. Believe that he will give you strength for your journey because he loves you as much as he loves his only begotten Son!
With Gratitude. This month’s essays were written by Joe Difato, our founding publisher and my predecessor here at The Word Among Us. Each year, we invite Joe, whom so many of you remember, to contribute to the magazine. It’s especially fitting during the season of Lent, when more than one million Catholics will be using this little magazine as their daily guide, that Joe would have the opportunity to share his insights with you. It’s not an overstatement to say that The Word Among Us would not exist today had the Lord not given Joe a vision for this magazine over forty years ago.
I am grateful to be able to call Joe my brother in the Lord. And I’m grateful that we are all truly brothers and sisters together, seeking to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. This Lent, may our Father show us how he has chosen us personally and appointed us for a mission that will bear fruit in this world and even into heaven!
Jeff Smith, President