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Lent Reflections
 
Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018
 
 
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
 

"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

 

"So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

"And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

 
 
 

Did you survive?! Perhaps a strange question to be asking on Ash Wednesday. However, it seems there is no place on earth that has more of a contrast between pre-Ash Wednesday and Lent, than southern Louisiana. Our days of reveling and celebrating Mardi Gras have come to a screeching halt, and we now find ourselves in a season of repentance, fasting, and prayer. Although Jesus does caution us in the gospel to be mindful of how we pray, the point is, to pray. To turn from ways that are not life giving, and take advantage of this season given to us by the church. To examine our lives, and make changes where necessary. Not an easy task, but one that we might consider to be of upmost importance, as our spiritual journey continues.

 
 
 
 
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