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March 02, 2022

Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 

“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.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

Emptying Ourselves This Lent

The message in today’s Gospel is pretty clear: it’s not about us. 

I remember asking people during my childhood, “What are you giving up for Lent?” It seemed to me that the bigger the sacrifice, the higher the esteem of the person. As a bonafide chocolate and candy lover, I could hardly imagine giving up such treats. But surely if someone was successful, they had every right to brag and gain people’s admiration!

With maturity, I of course see that Jesus’ teaching is different. Yes, it is good to fast, pray, and give alms during Lent. But it’s not about us. The focus should not be on what WE are giving up, or how WE are praying or giving alms. Rather, this passage points to a humility of heart, a redirecting of our attention towards the one who can satisfy us, enliven us, and multiply our gifts for the benefit of others. This Lent, let us live those practices that help us to empty ourselves, so that we may become filled… to overflowing service… with God.

Laura Gilmartin Hancock is finishing her formation in the Seminars in Ignatian Formation with the Midwest Province of Jesuits and ministers as a spiritual care provider with Soulcare MKE LLC.

 

Prayer

Today God our Father brings us to the beginning of Lent.
We pray that in this time of salvation
he will fill us with the Holy Spirit, purify our hearts,
and strengthen us in love.
Let us humbly ask him: 
Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

May we be filled and satisfied,
- by the word which you give us.
Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments,
- but above all in the ordinary events of daily life.
May we abstain from what we do not really need,
- and help our brothers and sisters in distress.
May we bear the wounds of your Son in our bodies,
- for through his body he gave us life.
Amen.

From Creighton University Online Ministries


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March 02, 2022

Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 

“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.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

Emptying Ourselves This Lent

The message in today’s Gospel is pretty clear: it’s not about us. 

I remember asking people during my childhood, “What are you giving up for Lent?” It seemed to me that the bigger the sacrifice, the higher the esteem of the person. As a bonafide chocolate and candy lover, I could hardly imagine giving up such treats. But surely if someone was successful, they had every right to brag and gain people’s admiration!

With maturity, I of course see that Jesus’ teaching is different. Yes, it is good to fast, pray, and give alms during Lent. But it’s not about us. The focus should not be on what WE are giving up, or how WE are praying or giving alms. Rather, this passage points to a humility of heart, a redirecting of our attention towards the one who can satisfy us, enliven us, and multiply our gifts for the benefit of others. This Lent, let us live those practices that help us to empty ourselves, so that we may become filled… to overflowing service… with God.

Laura Gilmartin Hancock is finishing her formation in the Seminars in Ignatian Formation with the Midwest Province of Jesuits and ministers as a spiritual care provider with Soulcare MKE LLC.

 

Prayer

Today God our Father brings us to the beginning of Lent.
We pray that in this time of salvation
he will fill us with the Holy Spirit, purify our hearts,
and strengthen us in love.
Let us humbly ask him: 
Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

May we be filled and satisfied,
- by the word which you give us.
Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments,
- but above all in the ordinary events of daily life.
May we abstain from what we do not really need,
- and help our brothers and sisters in distress.
May we bear the wounds of your Son in our bodies,
- for through his body he gave us life.
Amen.

From Creighton University Online Ministries


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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