ASH WEDNESDAY

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your holy Spirit from me” (Ps 51: 10-11).*

King David’s earnest prayer, as well as the introduction to Blessed John Paul II’s Lenten homily, (2000) eloquently paraphrases the importance of this holy day. As we enter into the Lenten season, we are encouraged by the annual opportunity to renew our lives, moving towards God’s holy throne.**

In today’s ashen procession, we hear “Repent and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”***(Roman Missal 2010).****
Through sin we may die, but through Salvation in Christ, we have the hope of rising again. In the next 40 days, we seek out ways to purify our hearts, deepen our understanding, and strengthen our spirits. The Church encourages us to focus on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; so we, too, can behold the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, at Easter. May we trust in God’s eternal goodness, in our Lord’s mercy and grace, and in the Holy Spirit’s ability to comfort and guide us.

by Sarah Ciotti
*Revised Standard Version, s.v. “Psalms, Book of.”
**Blessed John Paul II, “Ash Wednesday Homily” (sermon, Vatican, March 8, 2000).
***Ibid.
****Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission by Surgeworks, Inc for the Divine Office Catholic Ministry. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2011 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved. (0)

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