It is 1st March 2017. We observe the Ash Wednesday. A day of fasting and abstinence. The ash that is blessed distributed and placed on our foreheads to proclaim a fast. The act of placing the ash is indeed a call for spiritual purification. By this act, we profess that we are guilty of our sins and expressing our deep desire for inward conversion. It is time to celebrate the Sacrament of Mercy and Reconciliation as frequently as possible. A day to begin a serious repentance to assess the damages we have caused in our spiritual lives in relating with God and with the other persons. How much our sins have offended God and the society at large to be looked at intensely and to leave them for good. Let us truly make every bit of effort to change. Lent is the time to change all that is damaging the relationship with God and one another. It is indeed a personal and deep conversion time. Lent is not a time to change the other. Our penance must be inward and outward founded on the works of mercy to those needy members of the body of Christ, the Church and the society. Let us visit the Eucharist Lord daily and spend a quality time with Him. Let us kneel before His Holy Cross and be sorry for our sins. Either personally or as a community to meditate on the passion, suffering and death of our Lord Jesus by participating in the Way of the Cross on Fridays particularly. The entrance antiphon right prays, “You are merciful to all, O Lord, and despise nothing that you have made. You over look people’s sins, to bring them to repentance, and you spare them, for you are the Lord our God.” (Wis.11:24,25,27). The readings are from Joel 2:12-18; the second is from 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; and the Gospel from Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. The first reading stresses the need for personal repentance, fasting and preparing ourselves to meet the suffering servant of God. There is a desire in each one of us to return to the Lord. We just need to be focused during this Lent. When we truly reconcile with the Lord, there is peace in us and around us. In the second reading St Paul says, “For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.” (2 Cor.5:20). God wants to assure that God forgives our sins when we confess and reconcile with God through our personal penance, sacrifice and prayers. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.” (Ps. 51:3). The Gospel strongly suggest that let all our spiritual efforts done in a manner known to the Lord in secret. Let us make efforts to give up our sins and sinful attachments. It is indeed easy to give up or forego a meal but to give up our routine, casual and continuous sins we need prayerful penance. May the Lord bless every tiny effort we make and bless us with all the blessings that are due. May you have fruitful day.

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