February is an odd month – with the leap year thing every four years. This year we also have Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday on the same day. Maybe this year the imposition of ashes on the forehead can be made in the shape of a heart.
It reminded me of our “Vision” statement that we worked on several years ago. It states, “We are Saints chosen for vocations that use all our gifts to live the love of Jesus in this broken world.” Working backwards in that statement we must realize that this is not just a broken world, but a brokenness that cannot be fixed by money, politics, education or anything else that the human mind can come up with. “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5)
That is why we need the “love of Jesus” that finds it’s ultimate expression in the life, suffering and death of Jesus. So, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day makes for a good combination. Because of this love, we can have our broken lives exchanged for our Lord’s divinely perfect life. But, then what?
“Because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgression, (God) made us alive together with Christ.” (Eph. 2:4b-5). Along with this life, we are given the “gifts” – talents and abilities to live differently. Our goal is to enable our students, faculty, staff and parents to discover these gifts and then use them in the various vocations that have been prepared for us.
Eventually, the people who are living the love of Jesus in their vocations become so different from the rest of the broken world that the world thinks that WE are the odd ones. Saints, living the love of Jesus – odd sometimes, like the month of February.
Rev. Paul M. Mehl