(Ash Wednesday)

Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:13

On Feb 10, 2016Pope Francis commissioned hundreds of “Missionaries of Mercy” during Mass to mark the Ash Wednesday at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Mercy is the living sign of God’s readiness to welcome those in search of forgiveness, and we as children of God are call to have this disposition especially during this Lenten season. The Servant of God, Pope Francis said “Let the Church always be a place of Mercy and Hope where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.” On the Cross, Jesus proclaimed the divine words of Mercy to the world, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing…” During Angelus on March 17, 2013 Pope Francis said, “Jesus’ attitude is striking: we do not hear the words of scorn, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, which are an invitation to conversion. “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” Ah! Brothers and Sisters, God’s face is the face of a merciful Father who is always patient. Have you thought about God’s patience, the patience He has with each one of us? That is His mercy. He always has patience, patience with us, He understands us, He waits for us, He does not tire of forgiving us if we are able to return to Him with a contrite heart. “Great is God’s mercy,” says the Psalm.” The gospel of mercy is a call to repentance; a call for us to change our minds, and to change our ways. The season of Lent is the best time to put this into practice. The Corporal Works of Mercy –which include to feed the hungry; to give drink to the thirsty; to clothe the unclad; to shelter the homeless; to visit the sick; to visit the prisoners; to bury the dead; and the Spiritual Works of Mercy –which are to instruct the ignorant; to counsel the doubtful; to admonish sinners; to bear wrongs patiently; to forgive offences willingly; to comfort the afflicted; to pray for the living and the dead are to be our guide. In this season of Lent let us judge and treat others mercifully as we desire God to judge and treat us. “A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” Let us conclude this reflection with the words Pope Francis “Let us … remember Peter: three times he denied Jesus, precisely when he should have been closest to him; and when he hits bottom he meets the gaze of Jesus who patiently, wordlessly, says to him: “Peter, don’t be afraid of your weakness, trust in Me.” Peter understands, he feels the loving gaze of Jesus and he weeps. How beautiful is this gaze of Jesus — how much tenderness is there! Brothers and sisters, let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God!” as we embark on these 40 days of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, let us be another St. (Mother) Theresa of Calcutta expressing God’s mercy to all around us. Remember what mother Theresa once said “Calcuttas are everywhere if only we have eyes to see. Find your Calcutta”.

MASS: VIOLETJl 2: 12-18; Ps 51: 3-4. 5-6ab. 12-13. 14 and 17; 2 Cor 5: 20 — 6:2; Mt 6: 1-6.16-18 ASH WEDNESDAY.

Prayer Points:

  1. Thank God for today’s reflection
  2. Lord Jesus, you have endured me all these years with my sins, but nonetheless have mercy ; I was led astray in every way, but now I will sin no more; I have wronged You and I have been unjust; I will be so, no more; I renounce sin, I renounce the Devil, I renounce iniquity that stains my soul; free my soul from all that is against Your holiness; I entreat You, Lord Jesus, to rescue me from all evil; Come Jesus now, come now and abide in my heart; Forgive me, Lord Jesus, and allow me to rest in You, For You are my Shield, my Redeemer and my Light and in You do I trust; From today I will bless You Lord at all times; I repudiate evil and all other gods and idols, for You are the Most High over the world, far transcending all other gods; By Your mighty arm, rescue me from ill health, rescue me from being a captive, rescue me from trouble and defeat my enemy the Devil; come quickly to my help O Jesus My Saviour! Amen
  3. O God, in your great Mercy and Love, grant that I may sincerely and thoroughly repent from all my sins, and humbly and devoutly receive your forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and grant this same merciful grace to other poor sinners, especially those most in need of repentance and forgiveness in the name of Jesus

Exercise: Take the Rosary of Divine Mercy

Meditation Verse: Mark 12:33