I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Monday, February 16, 2015

Reflection for February 18, Ash Wednesday (Fasting and Abstinence) Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
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.When you give alms,do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to 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 corners so 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.”
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How does the season of lent affect you? Does this make you closer to God? There are three keys for you to have a meaningful observance of lent. The first is Almsgiving, the second is Prayer and the third is Fasting. In all of these three Jesus advocates silence and self-introspection and Jesus advocates contradiction to what this world would normally dictate you to do.

In Almsgiving, Prayer and Fasting Jesus advocates doing it in the privacy of your heart. Nobody will know except you and God alone not even your closest relative or friend.  Why? Because it is in silence and secrecy that you would also receive blessings from God (Most especially spiritual blessings).  For example, how could you have peace of mind? It’s through silence. How would you feel the presence of God in your life it’s in silence also.

God is not a loud or boastful God He is not like the many artificial Gods of this secular world that thrives in noise and publicity. Come to think of it, is it possible to have communion with Jesus through noise and publicity? Never. You will never have connection with Jesus through noise, publicity and other acts of self-promotion.    

As we begin our forty (40) days journey this lent let us try to look back about the loudness of our lives. Let us look at our facebooks and observe how we loudly promoted our lives there and let us ask ourselves this question: Has this self-promotion and sometimes hedonistic lifestyle led me in close communion with Jesus?

Lent is the time of year that the Good Lord gives us so that we could get closer and intimate with Him. It is His hope that through lent we could have a close encounter with Him and this we could best do in silence.

As the priest or lay minister put ash with the sign of the cross on your forehead. Close your eyes and silently pray this to the Lord: Lord Lead me back to you and bring me closer to you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

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