Archive for February 10, 2016

My Ash Wed

Posted: February 10, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

When I applied leave for ash Wednesday a few weeks ago. I wondered if I had made a sound decision. Being the third day of the Lunar New Year, the children would be in school. My spouse would be at work starting her new job. And I would be missing out on serving at the lunchtime mass in the business district. Ash Wednesday is not a day of obligation and so I asked myself if I was wasting a precious day of leave?

But deep in my heart I knew I wanted to spend this day with the Lord. The Lunar New Year festivities over the last few days with lots of good food and wine, was a little over indulgent. And so it was important to me to spend some time with the Lord in the Adoration room. To realign my focus on Him and to place my many sins at His feet. To be in His presence so He could minister to me.

Undeserving as I am my Lord opens His heart to me. And I feel His love envelop me. Needless to say I am in tears. Then it hits me once again that this overwhelming sense of gratitude should be shared. Not simply by sharing this personal moment, but by extending the same mercy and love I received with others; especially those who have hurt me in one way or another.

Three hours have gone by as I now sit here writing this reflection while basking in His love. I cherish every single minute of this wonderful Ash Wednesday. What a great start to my Lenten journey.

Glory to You O Lord!

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 10, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Today we hear the call to start anew. Put the past behind us and start afresh. It does not matter if we had sinned terribly or what we had done or failed to do. The Lord is inviting us to turn back towards Him. For even as we have strayed and have wandered from Him. He is calling us back to His loving embrace.

And so we fast not in shame or gloom but in joyful expectation. For when we empty ourselves we are inviting our Lord to come fill up the empty spaces in our hearts, bodies and minds. And we invite all of whom we love and hate alike. To have a change of heart as we move together closer towards God our Father this Lenten journey.

We pray fervently, fast reverently, give alms generously always for the Glory of God alone!

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God. Have mercy on me a sinner. Amen

First reading
Joel 2:12-18

‘Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks –come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning.’

Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn, turn to the Lord your God again, for he is all tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, and ready to relent.

Who knows if he will not turn again, will not relent, will not leave a blessing as he passes,
oblation and libation for the Lord your God?

Sound the trumpet in Zion!
Order a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, call the people together, summon the community, assemble the elders, gather the children,
even the infants at the breast.

Let the bridegroom leave his bedroom and the bride her alcove.

Between vestibule and altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, lament.

Let them say,‘Spare your people, Lord!   Do not make your heritage a thing of shame, a byword for the nations.

Why should it be said among the nations, “Where is their God?”’

Then the Lord, jealous on behalf of his land, took pity on his people.

Second reading
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2

We are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God. As his fellow workers, we beg you once again not to neglect the grace of God that you have received. For he says: At the favourable time, I have listened to you; on the day of salvation I came to your help.Well, now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation.

Gospel
Matthew 6:1-6,16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:

  ‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

  ‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

  ‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’