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February 17, 2021 ASH WEDNESDAY

Daily Reflection for Wednesday February 17, 2021
 

Peace and Blessing, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Ash Wednesday’s readings at this link:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/021721.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading:  Joel 2:12-18
Responsorial:  Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17
Second Reading:  2 Corinthians 5: 20-6: 2
Gospel:  Matthew:  6:1-6, 16-18

Our reflection on Wednesday's readings:
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.” Matthew 6-1.

I have chosen to have humility as the focus for my Lenten experience.  Being a follower of Jesus does not make me special or set me apart from my sisters and brothers on this planet. The truth is—I am a sinner who is loved deeply by my creator.

This love comes to me not by my own doing.  Nothing I can do will bring me more or less love from the Father.  Just like the prodigal son, even when we separate ourselves from God, He continues to love us as only God can do. It is only my ability and willingness to surrender to this love that makes the difference in my receiving the grace.

 We can get in the way of this unconditional love by playing God ourselves. We do this when our own judgments—positive and negative cloud our vision. There is certainly consequence when we judge ourselves; our judgments tend to be more apparent when they are directed toward others.

Jesus did not respond favorably when he saw people judging others as worse as or less than themselves. His love extended to all who were open to receiving it. The tax collector, the Syrophoenician woman, the woman caught in adultery, lepers . . . when they acknowledged their brokenness and need and turned to him without pretense, his love transformed them.

Humility is not a reason to be proud of our spirituality; nor is humility about putting ourselves down as we honestly face who we are.  Humility is more about gratitude as we recognize God's loving presence in our lives right now, and for all eternity.

So to practice humility this lent, I will journal my judgments of myself and others as I noticed them. Then I will offer prayer for others and their needs and prayers of gratitude that I am loved, flawed as I am, but at the same time gifted as the Holy Spirit sees fit.

Saint Francis DeSales:  “True humility consists in seeing ourselves as God sees us. No more or less than who we are.”

Prayer:  Lord, please give us the honesty and humility to see ourselves as you see us and the compassion to see others as you see them. Amen

Ed Mitchell

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