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Ash Wednesday

February 18, 2015

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)

We face the Truth
together
with our eyes
upon our need
for the compassion
of our God.

There is no place
for raising banners
to the lure
of fiendish pride–
that putrefies
the best
we have to give.

An honest gaze
must penetrate
the bright façade
of whitewashed hearts
and bring to light
our soul’s distortion
of the imaging
of God.

The time is NOW
to place our confidence
in God,
to throw our weight behind
His work
in the remaking
of our lives.

How long has it been since I’ve seriously examined the ways in which I fall short of the holiness of God?
Do I put my weight on my own goodness or on God’s?

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