Gospel Reflections

Feast of Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Roseanne Murphy

Published: February 14, 2018


Very few times in our lifetimes have we celebrated Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day on the same day. Perhaps the Lord is sending us a message this year for a reason.  As we begin Lent, it seems that Jesus is saying “I love you” as we prepare to live through the scripture passages leading to Good Friday.  In the gospel, we are cautioned about using our Lenten practices of fasting and alms-giving to boost our own self-esteem.  It is a fine line between entering into the Lenten season fully and at the same time to acknowledge our need of repentance.

What sustains us in our attempts to live through Lent authentically and humbly is the fact that Jesus assures us that His love is with us.  His grace will enable us to acknowledge even more fully what Lent is all about.   In today’s gospel, we are told to wash our faces when we fast, to pray in secret, and be careful not to boast about our Lenten practices.  Valentines’ Day is about love, Lent is about the love Christ has for us by giving his life for us.  Together, we have a decided challenge; to live and appear like people in love.  If we can do that, we will feel the sorrow of the Passion acutely, but Easter this year will be a burst of joy for us.

 

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