Tuesday, February 13, 2018
February 14, 2018 - ASH WEDNESDAY
[Day of Fast (ages 18- 59) and Abstinence (ages 14 and up)]
Jl 2: 12- 18 / 2 Cor 5: 20- 6: 2 / Mt 6: 1- 6, 16- 18
GOSPEL READING: Mt 6: 1 - 6, 16- 18
Jesus said to his disciples, "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 been already paid in full.
"If you give something to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your 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 by everyone. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. When you pray, go 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...
"When you fast, do not put on a miserable face as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so people can see they are fasting. I tell you this: they have been paid in full already. When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father who sees beyond appearances. And your Father, who sees what is kept secret, will reward you."
The sacred season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a day when we stress our nothingness and sinfulness, a day when we stress deeds to atone for our sinfulness and to show the genuineness of our repentance.
The imposition of ashes stresses our nothingness and sinfulness. Both formulas for the imposition of ashes say this: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return," and "Repent, and believe in the Gospel."
The Gospel reading tells us of the key practices for Lent to show our sincere sorrow and repentance for our sinfulness: almsgiving and good works, prayer, fasting and abnegation.
First, Lent invites us to be more generous to those in need, to give something extra to the poor. Many dioceses and parishes have special collections for A!ay Kapwa for this purpose.
Secondly, we are reminded to be more prayerful during Lent. Many attend many weekday Masses during Lent. The Stations of the Cross are a special devotion during Lent. Many go on retreats or recollections to deepen their spiritual life.
Thirdly, fasting is strongly encouraged. The prophet Isaiah extends the true meaning of fasting: "Is fasting merely bowing down one's head, and making use of sackcloth and ashes? ... See the fast that pleases me: breaking the fetters of injustice and unfastening the thongs of the yoke, setting the oppressed free an breaking every yoke. Fast by sharing your food with the hungry, bring to your house the homeless, clothe the man you see naked and do not turn away from your own kin." (Is 58: Sb, 6- 7)
Other forms of fasting just as pleasing to the Lord would be fasting from useless talk and uncharitable tsismis, intrigues and jealousy, show-offs and grudges.
All these we do, not to be seen or to impress others, but to honor our Father and as penance for our sins and for the sufferings of Christ caused by sin.
We pray the Prayer over the Offerings for Ash Wednesday, "As we solemnly offer the annual sacrifice for the beginning of Lent, we entreat you, 0 Lord, that, through works of penance and charity, we may turn away from harmful pleasures and, cleansed from our sins, may become worthy to celebrate devoutly the Passion of your Son."
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
Celia M. Madrid
Barbara Ann Lu Young / \\
Tony & Diding Evidente
Tony & Jennifer Gotamco Tan
IN MEMORIAM ( +)
Salud Nuqui lnocentes (14 Feb 1977 - 23 Oct 1978)
Eduardo Yu Chui Khua (27 May 1923- 14 Feb 2009)
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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