Ash Wednesday comes around when winter’s getting old, before there’s much promise of spring. The
New Years’ resolutions are faded; the Valentines’ flowers are wilted. On this drearily ordinary day, the
scriptures announce

Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
-2nd reading for Ash Wednesday
2 Corinthians 6:2 (RSV)

Now. Not on a special feast day, not even after forty days or even a lifetime of fasting, prayer and
almsgiving.

The light of salvation illuminates us right now. Seriously unimproved and very ordinary. It may not be flattering, but it is honest. And merciful. And demanding.

If now is the acceptable time, then it is time for us to act like people who are saved. Free of the idols we make of our self image. Free to act as if we had nothing to protect and nothing to lose. Free to turn our eyes from the distractions of both past and future; free to focus on now.

Now is the acceptable time: to clean up our act and clean up our world; to give of our substance until all are fed and safe. Not because we have to or ought to, but because we can. Now.

~BJ Devlin

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