Ash Wednesday

Posted: March 2, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Today as we mark ourselves with ashes we remember our frail mortality. From ashes we came from ashes we shall return. We look forward to this opportunity to respond to our Lord’s call, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” We who are weighed down by our sins, by the cares and worries of the world. We who want to be renewed by His everlasting, life giving Word. And So we embark on this Lenten journey together entrusting ourselves fully to the mercy of God our Heavenly Father who truly loves us all His children, His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who died to save us and the Holy Spirit who will guide us on our way.

For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12

You expired, O Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls and an ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, 

I trust in You. 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.’

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