|Ash Wednesday: Daily Gospel Readings and Reflections|
12″Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
for the LORD your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion;
consecrate a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
16gather the people.
Consecrate the congregation;
assemble the elders;
gather the children,
even nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her chamber.
17 Between the vestibule and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep
and say, “Spare your people, O LORD,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?'”
The LORD Had Pity
18 Then the LORD became jealous for his land
and had pity on his people.
2 Corinthians 6
1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,
“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The Lord’s Prayer
5″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 others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6But 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.
Matthew 6:16-18 Fasting
16″And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Ash Wednesday Gospel Reflections
We begin a new liturgical time- the season of Lent. The readings tell us to live faithfully and proposed three attitudes or practices that will help us in our spiritual journey: fasting, prayer, and compassion to one another. All of these must come from the depth of our hearts because God sees what is secret and he will reward us accordingly.