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Ash Wednesday

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Prayer ...
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us. Thank you for both saying it and showing it. Dear Father, we love you, too! Accept our words and actions today as a testimony to our love. Through Infant Jesus we pray. Amen.
Today's Readings ... (February 13, 2013)
Day: Ash Wednesday
First Reading: Jl 2:12-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17
Second Reading: 2 Cor 5:20—6:2
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Lectionary: 330
Colour: Violet
Listen to Reading:
Scripture: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
1"Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 16"And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Meditation on Today's Scripture:
Are we hungry for God and do we thirst for his holiness? God wants to set our hearts burning with the fire of his Holy Spirit that we may share in his holiness and spread out the joy of the gospel to those around us. The forty days of Lent is the yearly retreat of the people of God in imitation of Jesus' forty days in the wilderness. Forty is a important number in the scriptures. Moses went to the mountain to look for the face of God for forty days in prayer and fasting. The people of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years in preparation for their way in into the Promised Land. Elijah fasted for forty days as he travelled in the wilderness to the mountain of God. We are called to journey with the Lord in a unusual season of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and penitence as we get ready to celebrate the feast of Easter, the Christian Passover. The Lord gives us spiritual food and mystical strength to seek his face and to prepare ourselves for spiritual combat and testing. We, too, must follow in the way of the cross in line to share in the victory of Christ's death and resurrection. As we begin this holy season of testing and preparation, let's ask the Lord for a new outpouring of his Holy Spirit that we may grow in faith, hope, and love and embrace his will more completely in our lives. Loving Infant Jesus, give us a lively faith, a firm hope, a zealous charity, and an immense love of you. Take from us all lukewarmness in the meditation of your word, and dryness in prayer. Give us fervor and delight in thinking of you and your grace, and fill us with sympathy for others, especially those in need, that we may respond with generosity.


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