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

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reflection for February 10, 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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During the public ministry of Jesus he healed countless people and this healing would always have a common denominator. He would constantly say to them: do not tell anyone about the healing that I did for you.

This attitude of Jesus is attributed to His humility and to His self-effacing demeanor. As much as possible Jesus wanted to always maintain a low profile and he did not crave any form of publicity.

Today is Ash Wednesday; this is the start of our forty day’s journey of self-examination if we were able to truly follow Jesus in His humility and self-effacing attitude. We examine ourselves if we were able to shun the many temptations of this world in favor with our love for Jesus.

We also examine our attitude when we give Alms, when we Pray and when we Fast. Do we do these acts of piety with humility? Or we do these to show to the whole world that we are holy. There is more to life than the exterior showcase of our acts of piety.

As you go to the priest or to the ministers of the church for them to impose ash with the sign of the cross on your forehead. You are reminded that someday you shall become ash and your mortal body will forever be part of this world. You will leave behind whatever temporal achievements and riches that you have acquired. And you will just be forgotten and permanently fade away.

But you need not worry for so long as you have tried your very best to follow the humble path of Jesus. - Marino J.Dasmarinas 

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