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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday!

Don't forget today is Ash Wednesday! A day for fasting and abstinence.

Today's mass readings:

Reading 1 Jl 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,return to me with your whole heart,with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;Rend your hearts, not your garments,and return to the LORD, your God.For gracious and merciful is he,slow to anger, rich in kindness,and relenting in punishment.Perhaps he will again relentand leave behind him a blessing,Offerings and libationsfor the LORD, your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion!proclaim a fast,call an assembly;Gather the people,notify the congregation;Assemble the elders,gather the childrenand the infants at the breast;Let the bridegroom quit his roomand the bride her chamber.Between the porch and the altarlet the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people,and make not your heritage a reproach,with the nations ruling over them!Why should they say among the peoples,'Where is their God?'"
Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his landand took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17 R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.Thoroughly wash me from my guiltand of my sin cleanse me.R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.For I acknowledge my offense,and my sin is before me always:"Against you only have I sinned,and done what is evil in your sight."R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.A clean heart create for me, O God,and a steadfast spirit renew within me.Cast me not out from your presence,and your Holy Spirit take not from me.R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.Give me back the joy of your salvation,and a willing spirit sustain in me.O Lord, open my lips,and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading II 2 Cor 5:20-6:2
Brothers and sisters:We are ambassadors for Christ,as if God were appealing through us.We implore you on behalf of Christ,be reconciled to God.For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Working together, then,we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.For he says:
In an acceptable time I heard you,and on the day of salvation I helped you.
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;behold, now is the day of salvation.

Gospel Mt 6:1-6, 16-18Jesus said to his disciples:"Take care not to perform righteous deedsin 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 streetsto 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 cornersso 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."

From USCCB website.

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