On Ash Wednesday we begin a journey of 40 days. Like Jesus’ journey, ours has a goal, a destination. Jesus made the journey to Jerusalem where he was crucified and raised. Our Lenten journey leads us to participate in this mystery during Holy Week. At the Easter celebrations we will renew our commitment to follow Jesus as we renew our baptismal promises. On Ash Wednesday we take our first steps. We hear of the three spiritual practices that will guide our journey from “ashes to Easter;” prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We are marked with ashes, not so much as sign to others, but to ourselves that we are pilgrims on a spiritual journey.
Joseph was a man of journeys as well. He went from his home in Nazareth, to Bethlehem, to Jerusalem, to Egypt and then back home. These were not just geographical journeys; they were spiritual journeys, leading him deeper into his purpose in life, the plan God had for him.
Where are you going this Lent? What is your goal, your destination? Maybe St. Joseph can walk with you and be your guide, as one who prayed, fasted, and generously gave of himself to others.