Archive for February 26, 2020

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 26, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Traditionally today is the day we receive the mark of ashes on our foreheads by the priest or communion ministers as an outward sign that we have chosen to begin our Lenten observances. It has never been a day of obligation, but for many of us it is in the sense that we choose our love for God over everything else and want to be fully united with Him. Some of us this year will not have this opportunity due to the church closure, and so some have opted for a DIY solution by burning their old palms and marking themselves with the ashes.

What is of most importance is our inner disposition. Is today simply a reminder of our Mortality? From Ashes we came from ashes we shall return? Or is it a stark reminder that we are already dead if we do not have a relationship with the Lord our God? For we have not truly lived as we ought to in His love. Is today simply about returning to our God’s good graces? Or is it about truly being sorry and contrite for sins, for having wandered far from Him; and wanting badly to be in His loving embrace.

So sisters and brothers in Christ, if today and through the forty days of Lent, we rend our hearts for our many heinous sins, for what we have done and what we have failed to do. If we are truly penitent and want to start anew. Then we can rest assured that our Lord Jesus Christ will heal and make us whole. And we will live fully in His love and light at Easter!

Let us turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospels. Amen

First reading

Joel 2:12-18 ·
Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn

‘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
Be reconciled to God

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
Your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you

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.’