ASH WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, GRACE TO BEGIN

Joel 2:12-18; 2 Cor. 5:20-6:2; Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

We begin our Lenten journey today. Ash Wednesday is a day to recognize our smallness before God. “Remember, you are dust, and to dust you wil return.” the priest says as he makes a cross of ashes across our forehead.

In today’s first reading, Joel writes about a day of darkness and gloom, a day of events that are a sign of the coming day of the Lord when those who oppose the Lord’s righteous will shall be punished.

It’s easy to believe that all is right in the world when the sun shines and the flowers bloom. It is likewise easy to be afraid when the sky turns black and threatening.

During Lent, we’re called to repentance, rending “our hearts, not our garments,” as the prophet Joel writes (2:13). We’re called to recognize Jesus as our Merciful Savior. The more we turn our gaze toward the Cross, the more grace we will receive to bear our own crosses.

Ash Wednesday is a day of atonement for us. Turn to Jesus with trust and let Him lead you this Lent.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to glorify Your mercy and lift my heart to You again. Help me to fully surrender to You, knowing that You hold me in the palm of Your hand. Amen

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As we begin the holy season of Lent, we are encouraged by these words of Pope Francis: “During Lent, let us all ask the Lord: Make our hearts like yours. In this way we will receive a heart that is firm and merciful, attentive and generous.. a heart that is not closed, indifferent, or prey to the globalization of indifference.

MAY your living out of Lent be a time of many graces and the joy of being made new in Jesus Christ.  God bless you all.

 

LENTEN PRAYER, ASH WEDNESDAY

Lenten Prayer for every day:  LOVING GOD. We thank you for the many gifts you have given us. Bless our prayers and sacrifices this Lent.

May these gifts from our table bring hope and life to our sisters and brothers who suffer with hunger each day. 

Unite us through Christ with the poor worldwide, and bless our efforts to bring relief to those in need. Amen

Prayer for the first day of Lent:  Ash Wednesday, Read: Isaiah 58:1-12

“…if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.”    How will you help the hungry and afflicted this Lent?  Write down your commitment on your Rice Bowl or somewhere where you can see it every day.