Ash Wednesday
Malvern Minute


Ash Wednesday

February 17, 2021

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA


Book of the Prophet Joel

Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17

Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18


            When he was asked “who are we,” Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, mystic and theologian replies, “We are children of God knit together by God in our mother’s wombs.”  He added, “Our goal on this planet is to become the person God dreamed us to be when He created us.” 

            Friends, in today’s second reading, Saint Paul presents the ideal Christian dramatically as well.  He said, “We are ambassadors for Christ.”  There is no greater vocation.

            Lent is the season of the Church Year when we are invited to look deep inside ourselves and ask how well we are living our lives as “Christ’s ambassadors.”  In our Gospel narrative Jesus actually invites us to be very specific in naming obstacles that block us from reflecting this identity.

            Our Lord suggests we pay special attention to three areas.  We all know what they are; prayer, fasting and alms-giving.  Perhaps prayer is most important.  Are we in daily communion with Christ through prayer which enables Christ’s presence to shine through us and become “His ambassadors” in the world.  If not, how can we adjust our lives in order to include daily prayer.  Second is fasting.  Are we over indulgent in patterns of eating and drinking so much so does it obscure Christ’s presence in our lives?.  Lastly, alms-giving or how we gauge our generosity to others?  Do we live selflessly?  Are we living primarily for service of God and our neighbor or are our lives self-centered focusing primarily on enhancing our personal wealth and reputations? 

            Today we remember that Lent should be a joyful season for us and not a burden.  Additionally, it doesn’t have to end after forty days.  Our obligation as Christ’s ambassadors should continue throughout the year

Question of the Day:  How will you challenge yourself to the fullest during Lent?

Prayer:  Lord, as we begin our Lenten journey may we strive to become more fully Your ambassadors as we pray for a renewal of Christian joy in our lives.  Amen.


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