Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

February 26, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry 


Book of the Prophet Joel

Psalm 51

Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 5:20-6:2

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

The word “Lent” comes from an old English word which means “springtime.”  When we hear the word “springtime” we think about the renewal of nature and, of course, spring cleaning.  The Season of Lent is a time of special grace for us in which we want to do some spring cleaning in our lives and be benefited by the result. 

Therefore, we have come here today, Ash Wednesday, to acknowledge that we are sinners.  Therefore, we want to “clean up our lives during Lent.”  We want to have a change of heart and leave sin behind and grow closer to the Lord. 

The words of the Lord through the Prophet Joel in our first reading are words that have special significance for us today.  We can actually hear God speaking directly to us:

  • “Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is He, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.”

In both the Old and New Testaments when people left sin behind and turned over a new leaf they used ashes to symbolize their repentance.  In the spirit of our repentance on Ash Wednesday, we will take ashes on our foreheads as well.

Throughout the Season of Lent you may be asked or ask of someone else, “What are you giving up for Lent?”  There are standard answers such as deserts, T.V., and so on. The one answer you will never hear is, “I’m giving up sin!” 

During Lent we are preparing for the renewing of our baptismal promises during the Easter Vigil Mass.  St. Paul said in Romans 6:3 that when we were baptized we died to our old way of life to live a new way of life, meaning we left sin behind. 

Therefore, Saint Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, is telling us that when we were baptized we went into the tomb with Jesus and rose.  Lent is the time for us to once again die to our old sinful ways and rise out of the tomb with Jesus to a new way of life.

So, welcome to Lent!  We fast today and on Good Friday.  We abstain from eating meat each and every Friday during Lent.  In spite of repentance we have always fasted from one of our favorite foods.  Why?  Because it is a way of showing that we love the Lord more than food and that we love the Lord more than sin.

I hope that Lent may also be for you a time of growing closer to Jesus by spending more time in prayer and especially making a personal Holy Hour in an Adoration Chapel.  Lent is a time to renew praying the Rosary, reading Sacred Scripture, and even honoring the “saint of the day.” 

I wish you a holy Lenten Season full of joy and repentance as you draw closer to our Lord Jesus.  May the grace God gives us during Lent not be in vain. 

The Book of Wisdom tells us, “You are merciful to all, O Lord, and despise nothing that you have made.  You overlook people’s sins, to bring them to repentance, and you spare them, for you are the Lord our God.” 

Question of the Day:  Are you prepared to repent your sins and accept the grace of God in your life?

Prayer:  “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 



Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat. 

COMPANIONS ON THE JOURNEY Join us every Tuesday from 5 pm – 6 pm for this new and exciting radio broadcast from Malvern Retreat House on Radio Maria USA. Download the app for Radio Maria or go to the internet at


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