Tuesday, February 09, 2016


Ash Wednesday

10 February 2016

Ash Wednesday

(Fast and abstinence)



Jl 2: 12 – 18 / 2 Cor 5: 20 – 6: 2 / Mt 6:1– 6, 16 – 18.


From the 1st Reading: Jl 2: 12 – 17

Yahweh says, "Yet even now, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning.  Rend your heart, not your garment.  Return to Yahweh, your God, gracious and compassionate.


"Yahweh is slow to anger, full of kindness, and he repents of having punished. . . .  Blow the trumpet in Zion, proclaim a sacred fast, and call a solemn assembly.  Gather the people, sanctify the community, and bring together the elders, even the children and infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his bed, and his bride her room. 


"Between the vestibule and the altar, let the priests, Yahweh's ministers, weep and say: Spare you people, Yahweh.  Do not humble them or make them an object of scorn among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples: Where is their God?"


From the 2nd Reading: 2 Cor 5:20 

So we present ourselves as ambassador in the name of Christ, as if God himself makes an appeal to you through us.  Let God reconcile you:  this we ask in the name of Christ.  He had no sin, but God made him bear our sin, so that in him we might share the holiness of God. 


Gospel Reading: Mt 6:1 – 6 

Jesus said, "Be careful not to make a show of your righteousness before people.  If you do so, you do not gain anything from your Father in heaven.


"When you give something to the poor, do not have it trumpeted before you, as do those who want to be seen in the synagogues and in the streets in order to be praised by the people.  I assure you, they have already been paid in full.


"If you give something to the poor, do not let your left hand know what you right hand is doing, so that your gift remains really secret. Your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you.


"When you pray, do not be like those who want to be seen. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners to be seen b everyone. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.  When you pray, do into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is with you in secret; and your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you."  



Why should I give up my favorite pork sisig today, Ash Wednesday, on Good Friday and on the Fridays of Lent?  Why fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?


Of the three Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, fasting seems to be the most impractical, useless and maybe even absurd for us today. Why do we fast?


Fasting is deeply based in hundreds, even thousands, of years of spiritual practice and wisdom: when you tame the body, you tame the soul.


Paul writes to the Church in Corinth: "Christ died for our sins."  (1 Cor 15: 3)   Most of our sins are rooted in our failure to tame our appetites – for food, drink, sex, comfort, affection, prestige, honors.  We seek pleasure and avoid pain, even when this may destroy us and others.  We are helplessly enslaved by many addictions:  "In fact I do not do the good I want, but the evil I hate."  (Rom 7: 19)


In many cases, through fasting and abstinence in food or giving up on other areas – drink, recreation, movies, TV and the Internet, we increase our capacity for sacrifice which is the essence of all love.


And so this Lent I will fast and abstain from food, drink and other areas I enjoy, taming my body to tame my soul, expressing my love for Christ by my sacrifice.  And I will not complain 






     Atty. Jun Nario Jr.

     Catrina Ever L. Ngo

     Joel Labii


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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