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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples: “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, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But 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. “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”


"And your Father who sees in secret will repay you."

Ash Wednesday for me is a particularly lonely day. It is a time when I have to look at myself, my spiritual life, and be brutally honest. Is this whom I want to be when it’s time for me to go home? No one can accompany me with this. It is me and God: my creator, the One who loves me with an eternal love, who takes delight in me and who died for me so that I can become like Him.

He promised me He would never leave me. And I do believe that He is always by my side. But have I been by His side?

Lent is a time to do penance, a time to visit our past not with condemnation or accusations, but a time to see how seriously in love am I with God. It is a time to purify my soul and begin again. It is a time to remind me of this short life and that I am nothing.

All my worldly accomplishments are Nothing!! That is what the ashes remind us—without God all that is left of me is a pile of dust.

We Catholics, with practice, have it down. So many rosaries, so many confessions, so many masses etc. But does what we do to get closer to God really accomplish our purpose? Has it changed us? Can I return to God with all my heart, abandoning sin for life and joy?

Am I still intolerant of people, hold grudges, find it hard to love those who don’t love me, speak hurtful words? And many more reasons for not walking with God.

Can I live as He expects me to live? Another Lent and another try. How good God is that He gives us a 40 day Lenten retreat so that we can figure out who our master is. Sin or God?

Pray not only for ourselves but our neighbors and our priests who help bring us home to God in example, preaching, reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.

With a happy heart, I look forward to days of confession, penances, fasts, almsgiving and mortifications of unselfishness, humility, and listening.


It is time for Hope and change!! This Lent let us trust in the goodness of the Lord and know that He has nothing but love for us. Let us joyfully embrace His love and offer our first day's fasting for all who are stuck in the snares of sin.

"Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned." (Psalm 51).

God bless you.


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