Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Ash Wednesday

March 1, 2006
Ash Wednesday

JOEL 2:12-18
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, and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings
and libations for the Lord, your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the people, notify the
congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants
at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room and the bride her
chamber. Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers
of the Lord, weep, And say, "Spare, O Lord, your people, and make not
your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over them! Why should
they say among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'" Then the Lord was
stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:20-6:2
Brothers and sisters: We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were
appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled
to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so
that we might become the righteousness of God in him. Working together,
then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he
says: In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I
helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the
day of salvation.

MATTHEW 6:1-6, 16-18
Jesus said to his disciples: "Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no
recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a
trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the
streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have
received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left
hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be
secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. "When you
pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the
synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I
say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to
your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And
your Father who sees in secret will repay you. "When you fast, do not
look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that
they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have
received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash
your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your
Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will
repay you."

Both the first reading and the Gospel in today's liturgy speak of
fasting. Fasting has a long and honored history in Judeo-Christian
religious practice. From its earliest days fasting has always been seen
as a means of providing food for the hungry.

Fr. Joseph Donders in his reflection on Ash Wednesday quotes St.
Augustine on fasting and mortification: "Don't believe that fasting
suffices. Fasting punishes you, but it does not restore your brother.
How many poor people could be nourished by the meal you did not take
today?" Donders points out how Augustine reflects the words Isaiah
wrote centuries earlier: "Is not this the sort of fasting that pleases
me-to share your bread with the hungry?"

It is the practice in some schools during Lent to have a "mite" box on
the teacher's desk. Children would put the money that they saved in the
box; money they saved by not taking a soft drink or buying candy. The
Far East Mission Society would use the money to buy unwanted babies in
China. Fasting would buy these unwanted babies life.

The Church encourages this sort of fasting-for-others during the season
of Lent. In a country where poverty holds the vast majority in its
grip, fasting-that-others-might-eat can satisfy the faster's spiritual
hunger as well as the physical, and perhaps also the spiritual, hunger
of the poor.

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- healings for Fr Steve D, BB, Carol, Joann, & Cindy.
- for the spiritual and physical healing of Julie Gibson.
- for the personal intentions and thanksgiving of Rikit Navarro.
- for the spiritual and physical healing of Beth.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Beth Sy
- In Memoriam (+): Exequiel Quinoñes
- In Memoriam (+): Antonio L. Ong
- Wedding Anniversary: Johnson & Veronica L. Gotamco
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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