Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Well, here we are. Our third Covid Lent. When social distancing began, a few weeks into Lent 2020, it felt appropriate, like we were all collectively being called to go into the desert. Last year, it seemed that the Easter Season would bring us widespread vaccination and lower Covid rates. Yet this year, I feel very much like the people referenced in today’s first reading, who are currently weathering a seemingly never ending, once in a lifetime, catastrophe.

What I find most striking about this passage, is that in this moment of deep uncertainty and danger, the people turn to God. In turning to God, they are then called to be in community with one another. What a powerful message, that resonates deeply with the start of Lent, life in the times of Covid, and a year of service to one another. During my own time as an AV, I often expected my most profound experiences of God to come to me while seated in a pew, or around a prayer candle, or maybe even in service to others. There were times that did happen. But most of the times that I felt most broken open to God’s love were the everyday moments in community. In today’s reading from Joel, it is indeed when the community gathers, that they hear from God that there is indeed hope. This Lent, let’s work to seek God by building community with one another.

Joanna Bowen
Director of the Augustinian Volunteers
AV Alum, San Diego 2007-2008