LENT: ASH WEDNESDAY: MARCH 6, 2019
JESUS MAFA. The Pharisee and the Publican, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever 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.
"And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jesus' teaching in Matthew on Ash Wednesday helps keep us honest and humble! Yes, do be Compassionate. Do help others but be mindful and NOT boastful. My mother’s words ring in my ears: “SELF PRAISE IS NO PRAISE!”
Be generous, however- Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. So, your giving elicits joy not self-praise
And while you are at this PRAY and FAST in the presence of God- knowing that you are rewarded by God for your gracious and generous behavior. Your countenance and presence are content in knowing that you and only you, and God of course, knows of your fasting and prayer.
Our Living Legacy:
Education in all forms and outward expressions will always be at the heart of the Mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN).
A prayer for Lent
Why Ashes- busted halo