Lent Begins: A Journey of Three
Reflections on the readings for Ash Wednesday (February 14, 2018): JL 2:12-18; PS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 12-13, 14 and 17; 2 COR 5:20-6:2; MT 6:1-6, 16-18
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of three important aspects of spiritual life that affect our relationship with God and His people. Charitable deeds, prayer and fasting have become key elements of Lent for Christians. Jesus respects these offerings. Yet He wants us to realize that if we perform them so that others notice and admire us for them, we have defeated the purpose of drawing closer to Him. “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms…when you pray… when you fast… your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you” (Matthew 6:1-2).
We need to focus on serving our Lord’s people through charity in word and action and turning to Him through prayer and self-sacrifice.
Suggested missionary action: We can best use each precious day of Lent by inviting Him to embrace us, sinners though we are. We also need to build a more loving relationship with our brothers and sisters.