MY daily reflection and prayer: Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Dear my friends, here is the Gospel for us today according to St. Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
“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.”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. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “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. 6 But 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. “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. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face that 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.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
In the beginning of this Lent session, in this Ash Wednesday, let’s ask ourselves: Are we hungry for God and do we thirst for his holiness? Exactly, God wants to set our hearts ablaze with the fire of his Holy Spirit. He invites us to share in his holiness and radiate the joy of the gospel to those around us. He is ever ready to transform our hearts and to lead us further in God’s way of holiness.
The Gospel records, there are three cardinal works of the religious life may help us to be holy. These are fasting, and alms giving as the key signs of holiness. These are the three great pillars on which the good, pious, and holy life is based. But Jesus warns us that true holiness and piety is something more than feeling good or looking holy. It is a gift and working of the Holy Spirit that enables us to devote our lives to God with a holy desire to please him in all things.
During the forty days of Lent, Jesus wants to renew us each day and give us new hearts of love and compassion. Based on our worshiping Jesus Christ in Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist, let’s grow in our love for God and for our neighbor.
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus Christ, may we seek you expectantly in prayer, with fasting, and in generous giving to those in need. Give us a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, and a great love of you and our neighbors. Fill us with compassion for others, especially those in need that we may respond with generosity now and forever. Amen.
Photo credit: Ilustrated