Reading 1- JL 2:12
Reading 2 - 2 COR 5:20—6:2
Gospel - MT 6:1-6, 16-18
Today's ashes are meant to symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the ashes are applied to a person's forehead, it is accompanied by the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." The ashes also reflect an ancient Jewish tradition of sitting among ashes as a sign of grief.
We grieve for our sinfulness and the separation from God it causes, but all is not lost for in our first reading today the prophet Joel declares:
"Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness..."
We are called to pray, fast and exercise charity and works of mercy but to do so with the proper INTERIOR disposition and as our Lord tells us in the Gospel "...and your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”
What is the point of giving up meat but still give reign to carnal desires?
What is the point of saying prayers when the tongue continues to utter profanities or spread gossip?
What is the point of giving if getting back is the main concern?
Last Sunday st. Paul reminded us "that you are the temple of God". I am using this as my Lenten theme as I continue my journey towards holiness. Let us journey together.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.