Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Ash Wednesday 2023


The God of the Old Testament is some times thought of wrongly as an angry God.  But in light of that, in case there is any doubt in anyone’s mind here today, this Ash Wednesday I would like to go through a list of sins that Saint Paul, Jesus, and Saint John mention in the NEW TESTAMENT that keep one from Heaven.


Saint Paul says in First Corinthians chapter 6 that “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”


Saint Paul tells the Galatians that “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”


Saint Paul tells the Ephesians in chapter 5: “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, Nor should there be obscenity…of this you can be sure: No sexually immoral, impure or greedy person has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

And Saint John relates in Revelation “Outside of Heaven are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

In Matthew, chapter 25 Jesus says “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’


I, Fr. Hollowell, have done lots of things in those lists.  But here is the thing…I have confessed them all in the Sacrament of Confession, and now God no longer holds them against me.

The ashes you receive on your forehead today are a reminder of your sins.  The ashes can be washed off. But only in the Sacrament of Reconciliation can you actually be cleansed from sexual immorality, adultery, homosexual sex, thievery, drunkenness, slander, impurity, witchcraft, hatred, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, envy, orgies, murder, liars, and those that do not recognize Jesus in the poor.

Jesus looks at you with love today, and asks you to leave your sins behind and sin no more.  Let us heed His call. 

I will be in the confessional until everyone who wants to go to confession today has had that opportunity.

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