Lenten Meditations – Ash Wednesday

Feb 26, 2020 by

PSALM                              O​LD​ T​ESTAMENT​                            E​PISTLE​                                      G​OSPEL

am: 95, 32, 143,

pm: 102, 130                       Joel 2:12-18;                           2 Cor. 5: 20 – 6:2                        Matt 6:1-6, 16-18


​LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:​ Originally, the period began on what is now the first Sunday in Lent; but, it being found that, when Sundays, as improper for fasting, were omitted, there remained only thirty-six days, the period was made by Pope Gregory to commence four days earlier namely, on what has since been called Ash Wednesday.

Today’s liturgy gives us basic directions for the next 40 days. As a first step to clearing our hearts and mind of obstacles to God, this day is an opportunity to engage in prayer and fasting. Today, and every day this Lent, is an opportunity to spend time with God, read over the Scriptures for the day, listening to what God is saying and committing to Acts of Charity to me, and writing down what I hear.?

Lent begins with the imposition of ashes, an ancient symbol of penance common in the Old Testament and pagan antiquity. Jesus alludes to it when he condemns the cities of Bethsaida and Chorazin for not doing penance. “If the miracles performed in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

MEDITATION OF THE DAY​ Lent is a time of remembering—remembering who we are and whose we are. The disciplines and liturgical practices of Lent are about turning our focus away from the deadening distractions that sometimes fill our days toward the essentials of life and love. We pray. We fast. We give alms. We turn our attention toward God, toward our interior lives, and toward others. And we do so in order to remember, to put back together again our covenant with God, and to realign ourselves with the grace of our baptism. Perhaps we as a community could consider the disciplines of Lent not as disciplines but rather as a way to deepen the covenant that binds us to Christ and each other.

ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE​: “​Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood and perjury. Privation of these is true fasting.”- ​Homily I​, St​ Basil the Great.

PRAYER OF THE DAY​: ​ O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee, to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ’s sake, Amen –​St. Ambrose of Milan L​ENTEN​ D​ISCIPLINE​ – ​Keep a Solemn or Simple Fast, using the money to start a Mite Box for the purposes of either supporting the persecuted church or Food for the Hungry.

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