Ash Wednesday…are your ashes showing?

Prophet Joel, Russian icon from first quarter ...

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Gift:  Piety (Reverence) – With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

Reading:  Blow the horn in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly!  (Joel 2:15)

Observation:  I am hearing in the first reading for today’s Mass readings, from the book of Joel, that we should not only plan on fasting, but our church and our lives should be proclaiming a fast, so that everyone can join in the sacrifice and enjoy the fruit that comes from fasting and repentance.  At the end of this verse, he says to call an assembly and even though I don’t know what that would look like in Joel’s time, I can imagine that our Mass and church services around the world would be pleasing to God today.

Personification:   Generosity  It will be my intention to display the fruit of generosity today, by continuing the work that Joel did in his time, and John the Baptist and Jesus proclaimed to us during the beginning of their ministry and throughout their life.  While we are with Jesus, it would not be necessary to be fasting, especially during Communion, but at all other times I must remember to show the repentance that is befitting a sinner like me.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be more willing to be repentant and always faithful in showing the repentance that brings others to repentance as well.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.