Wednesday 14 February 2018

Ash Wednesday 2018 A Reflection

Ash Wednesday 2018 A Reflection

Lent begins today. Last week I wrote a post 'Some Suggested Reading Options for Lent 2018' I appreciate the goals and focus of Lent. I find it an annual time of spiritual renewal. Both from what I am more intentional about and also what I am intentional about limiting or eliminating from my life. 

First Reading Joel 2:12-18
Responsorial Psalm 51:1-4,10-12,15 Response 1a,4a
Second Reading 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2
Gospel Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

The first reading today begins with these words:

"Even now, says the Lord
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts, and not your clothing."

And that is the call to each of us each year at lent. This prophetic call for repentance echos down through the ages. It is a universal call and it is a timeless call. The response for the responsorial psalm today is:

"Have mercy, O Lord, for we have sinned."

and it is true all have sinned and fall short. But many in this day and age do not admit their sin. In fact many try to erase even the concept of sin from our society today. We need to admit our sin, and turn to God. It is the only healthy way to move forward. In the second reading we have Paul say to us:

"For our sake God made Christ to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God.
See, now is the acceptable time;
see, now is the day of salvation!"

Today's gospel reading provides strong guidance to our Lenten practices. It is said that Saint Augustine declares that this passage is the perfect standard for the Christian life. But combining Jesus's words with those of Joel in the first reading and guide us to turn to God with all of our heart! In the gospel Jesus exclaims:

"But when you fast,
put oil on your head and wash your face,
so that your fasting may be seen not by others
but by your Father who is in secret;
and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

So no matter what you decide to do this Lent, I encourage you to do it for God. Do it for your personal sanctification. Do it to learn to Love God more and through that growth to love and server others!  

Blessings on you this Lent and I pray that you draw nearer to God.

Related Posts:

The Colors of the Church Year
The Privilege of Altar Serving
Serving God, Altar Serving and Learning to Listen
Saturday 18th Week or Ordinary Time
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2017
Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2017

34th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2017 Christ the King – Solemnity

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