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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel S.J. Scheid SCP

What is Father Dan Thinking? 2-16-24

Here's my sermon for Ash Wednesday.

Fr. Daniel S.J. Scheid, SCP

Ash Wednesday – February 14, 2024

All Saints’ Episcopal Church, San Francisco

“The End Justifies the Means”



† The end of Lent is Easter.


The end of life is, we hope, an eternity in heaven in the presence of God.


The end of the world is whatever new creation God has already finished in God’s own mind.


The end of Lent, the end of life, and the end of the world point to re-creation, to resurrection, to love as only God can perfectly express it.


Ash Wednesday is a solemn, somber day in which we lament our sins and acknowledge our wretchedness.


Ash Wednesday is a day when the undeniable evidence of our mortality is smudged cruciform on our foreheads.


Ash Wednesday asks us to look deeply into the dark and dank recesses of our souls; to turn our minds toward Christ, aided by the study of his holy word; and to pray, fast, and give.


Why? … Ultimately, as the Proper Preface of the day will say, so that we “may come to the fullness of grace which [God has] prepared for those who love [him].”


Ash Wednesday is solemn and somber, yes, and it is also celebratory – today it’s even something of a Valentine.


God desires not the death of us sinners, but that we turn to him and truly live.


Why? … Because God loves you and me, desires you and me, aches for you and me, longs for you and me – now and forever.


Through the Church, God gives us justifiable, holy means to this holy end.


Receive them and use them. †


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