Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Jesus tempted in the Wilderness
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have
made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and
make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily
lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission
and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.
Practicing fasting, alms giving, and prayer are important aspects of Lent, and these practices can deepen our spir and strengthen our connection with the Lord, but what is most important is our intention in doing these things. Are we doing this to show how holy and righteous and wonderful we are, are we doing this to show we are so much better than those people who aren’t wearing ashes, or are we doing this as a sign of true repentance? Are we practicing prayer, fasting and almsgiving as a means of showing the world that we are pious, or are we doing this in order to strengthen our relationship with God? If you are going out the door with this smudge on your forehead to show your neighbors what a good person you are because you were at church at 7:30 this morning, you should wipe the ashes off your head as you go out the door. God knows our hearts, God knows what is going on in our lives. We may fool our neighbors but we can't fool God. If our Lenten practices are a means of bringing attention to ourselves, then we will already have our reward. But if we do this as a means of coming closer to God, as a means of increasing our own spiritual life and that of this parish, if these acts reflect true repentance on our parts, we will then be experiencing a true and holy Lent. May our intentions and motives this Lent be pure. May we use this time as a means of spiritual preparation. May we use this time to grow in our love of God and each other. May we all keep a holy Lent.
I See You!
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