Here we are. A new beginning. A fresh start. “Return to the Lord” the prophet Joel tells us in the first reading of today’s Mass. What a gift we have in the Lenten season! An opportunity to make things right with our God. An opportunity to rediscover how much he loves us and truly how much he forgives. Last Sunday, I spoke about friendships, and I must admit that there are friendships that have fallen by the wayside or grown stale that I wish I could jump-start or refresh much like pressing the refresh button on a computer. The beauty of Lent is that we can refresh our relationship with God. The ashes on our forehead serve as a reminder not only of our sinfulness, but of the love that God has for us in sending his only Son to rescue us from sin. Think back to that best friend in high school that you wish you were still in touch with and just imagine if you could start anew with that person on this day. This is the beauty of Lent. We get to start anew with God. We are called to return to the Lord because he will restore the joy that has been lost in our lives. So don’t look upon the season of Lent as a burden because of all the fasting and sacrifices. It truly is as a gift!