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Ash Wednesday

March 5, 2014

JMJ

Blessed Ash Wednesday!

Entrance Antiphon:
You are merciful, O Lord, and despise nothing that You have made.
You overlook people’s sins, to bring them to repentance,
and You spare them, for You are the Lord our God.

Collect:
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Joel 2: 12-18 (God is merciful when we repent)
Psalm 51:3-17 “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned”
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2 (We beg you: be reconciled to God!)
+Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 (Our prayer, fasting and almsgiving are to be done
in a spirit of conversion, not for show)

Become the righteousness of God in Christ.
(see 2 Corinthians 5:21)

Become who you are!

That’s not
just an external change.
It tears into the heart
to let the grace of God
scrub out the sin
(it isn’t you!)
and fill its place
with joyful self-control.

It might not look like much
–that’s not the point–
this is an inside job.
The One Who sees inside
will give you your reward.

What in me is keeping me from becoming who I really am–
a saint made in the image of the Most High God?
How can I cooperate with God’s grace in conquering those obstacles
and in developing the habits of holiness?

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