FEASTING ON THE WORD
"If you meditate on the Scriptures it will appear to you in its brilliant splendor." ―St. Pio of Pietrelcina
First Sunday of Lent (A)
Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7 | Romans 5:12-19 | Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17 | Matthew 4:1-11
Last Wednesday, we began our Lenten journey with Jesus as we prepare to celebrate Easter. As we begin this season of Lent, our main themes for this weekend are temptation, sin, guilt, and forgiveness.
Joel 2:12-18 | Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17 | 2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2 | Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
After the Gospel we will again be walking around wearing dirty black smudges. Palm ashes will be blessed, mixed with either holy oil or water, and marked with the sign of the cross on the forehead or sprinkled on the head. The minister, while imposing the ashes says, "Remember, man that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." (Cf. Gen. 3:19) or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel." (Mark 1:15). Whatever formulary is used, it's message is simple: "Alalahanin mo, mamamatay ka rin!" (Remember that you will die). We are reminded of our mortality and our need to live faithfully in this world. Life is short so we have to live life well. In ancient days, people marked times of fasting, prayer, repentance, and remorse by placing ashes on their foreheads. The custom was prevalent in early days of Judaism: as found in 2 Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1-3, Job 42:6, and Jeremiah 6:26. Ashes are sacramentals. We express our brokenness and our readiness to change when we receive the ashes.
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18 | Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13 | 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 | Matthew 5:38-48
The Scripture readings on this Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time issue three calls to us– to be holy as the Lord our God is holy; to maintain harmony and unity in the community; and to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Jeff Jacinto, PhD, DHum