Tuesday, February 24, 2009
ASH WEDNESDAY – YEAR I
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."
Today the Church throughout the world observes the start of Lent. It
is a day of fasting and abstinence. Today also, the Church has a
tradition of putting ashes on the foreheads of the faithful.
Our Lenten traditions of fasting, abstinence, the imposition of the
ashes and the readings for today are just reminders or signposts for
us to turn our lives more to God. In Greek, metanoia means a change of
one's hear t and mind. This change or a turning towards God does not
only mean doing good works like alms giving. What is more important is
our inner intentions and attitude. When we do these actions often
enough, giving of ourselves with the purest of intentions, hopefully,
they become part and instruments of our inner selves until such time
these practices becomes a participation in the love and mercy of God
and an expression of our solidarity with all He has created.
When we fast or abstain from food or other things, we deny ourselves
and in a way we are in solidarity with those who have less. How much
had Jesus denied himself when he became one of us? Let us reflect on
this today. Let us hope to better understand where these actions may
us lead us.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the healing and strength of:
- Sophia Gonzalez
- Christy Chin
- Pam D, Cindi R, Angela I, Jan and Goldie
- Elizabeth Berame Santos
… In Thanksgiving: for passing Nursing Licensure Exam: Hana Marie G.
… for the personal intentions of Kristine Valenteros
... for the wisdom, guidance and enlightenment of Mary Beth
… for good health: Valenteros family
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Manuel Go. Eternal rest grant
unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he and all the
dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Peter Siam Lim III
- Birthday: Cathie & Careen Jao
- Birthday: Antonio K L Go
- In Memoriam (+): Joseph Chamsay+
- In Memoriam (+): Alfredo Co Ong+
- In Memoriam (+): Dr. Juan C. Atabug
… for the healing and peace of all families
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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