Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 14th


Jl 2:12-18; Ps 51:3-6, 12-14, 17;
2 Cor 5:20-6:2; Mt 6:1-6, 16-18


Even now, says the Lord,
return to me with your whole heart… Joel 2:12

Create in me a clean heart, O God… wash me,
and I shall be whiter than snow. Ps 5:7, 10

When you pray go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret
will repay you. Mt 6:6

Being smeared with the cross of ashes is familiar for many of us. In this way,
our bodies reflect God’s creative love for all that we are. “God saw everything
he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gn 1:31). We are signed
on our foreheads but as the scriptures proclaim, we are really invited to pay
attention to what is in our hearts. It is most important to change our hearts.
What helps me change my heart? These Gospel verses go right to the center
and they are Jesus’ own teaching – go quietly within and allow God to be
with you in silent presence. Yes, we need to be reminded to stop and wait,
listen, be patient and be present. The gift of our Lenten season helps us put
a shine on our hearts like polishing a treasured silver piece. Then our true
self is more radiant. Love yourself as you are but realize that God, in God’s
great mercy, won’t let you stay there.


Help me spend a few moments each day, O God, in your silent
presence. May I trust how you are moving in my life and changing
my heart each day. Guide me in your way. Give me a willing
spirit and a faithful heart this Lenten season. Let my sights turn
toward You all the days of my life.

Personal Challenge

Go to your inner room and close the door
and allow God to be with you and sustain you
this day and all the days of your life.

Betsy Meagher, CSJ
Kalamazoo, MI

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