Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ash Wednesday 2011

Last night I had the opportunity to attend an Ash Wednesday at a Catholic Church in my community. I grew up Catholic but do not recall ever going to an Ash Wednesday service as a kid so this was truly a new experience for me.

The Mass began with a liturgy reading of Joel 2. Next, there was a time for a congregation singing, very unlike the worship songs we sing, and unlike hymns. The songs were awesome and had an essence of individually but mostly spoke of community and the Jesus’ response to the community. The Gospel reading was from Matthew 6.

The priest shared the significance the Gospel passage, especially in light of Lent. It was a simple message but powerful. Bottom line was that there are three things we need to do better during Lent:

Alms Giving
Self Denial

So my challenge is how to these things better during Lent. And if I am trying to deny self during this process I must do these things secretly. I shouldn’t complain that I am suffering as I give up this or that. I shouldn’t pray in ways that draw attention to me. As I give I should work towards giving more sacrificially, and not brag about the hardship it causes. Lent is about giving God the honor and not honoring or looking for honor ourselves.

I pray that we all draw closer to Jesus during Lent…

No comments: