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Posts Tagged ‘Ash Wednesday’


John 17:11-12: Unfolding Our Story

Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019

When Jesus prays for his disciples, he speaks to a loving parent as if reporting in on a project.

I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.

Jesus speaks not only to this loving parent but to us today as he says,

They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.

Jesus continues to speak to his loving parent,

I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world;
They’ll continue in the world
While I return to you.

Jesus prepares for his exodus to the resurrected life and as he does, he prepares us for our own exodus.

Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).

On this Ash Wednesday, when we consider that we are beautiful dust from a great star collision millennia ago, we remember that Jesus takes us with him on his great exodus to new life.

On this day when we remember that God is an ever-patient, always giving parent, we remember that the Spirit abides with us every step of our journey.

On this day when we remember that we are dust, we also remember that this glorious ash unfolds our hearts to pull us together in one great union with Christ.

On this day, we remember, and we celebrate this great blossoming gift of eternal love.


Listen to Steven Curtis Chapman’s Glorious Unfolding at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKMjEvF2Fkw

Images from: https://www.stpaulsf.org/96 and http://stevencurtischapman.com/

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Luke 5:1-11: Putting Out into the Deep

Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016Luke-5_10

Jesus: Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.

Sunday’s Gospel reminds us that when we hug the shoreline, we have little room for growth. During this Lenten season we encourage one another to take stock of where and who we are so that we can move away from the safety of the shallows, so that we can trust God and venture into the frightening but rewarding depths of kingdom-building.

Simon Peter: Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.

Peter reminds us that the waters, boat and nets all belong to the Lord and that the Lord knows far more than we can hope to know. Peter shows us why we can trust God. Jesus shows us that there is bounty where we have found nothing of value.

ASH-WEDNESDAYDuring the next forty days we will spend time with scripture that gives us the opportunity to open our hearts, un-stiffen our necks . . . and to put out into the deep to fish the waters we think are empty.

Let this be our Lenten practice for the next several days: Rather than think, “This will not work,” let us say instead, “If you say so, Lord”.

For a reflection on today’s Noontime, click on the image above or visithttp://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/06/readings-reflections-with-cardinal-tagles-video-fifth-sunday-in-ordinary-time-c-st-colette-february-72016/ 

Tomorrow, taking care.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Daniel 9:13-19

Prayer of Penitence – In the Desert

Eugene Alexis Girardet: Prayer in the Desert

Eugene Alexis Girardet: Prayer in the Desert

In today’s Noontime we ponder Daniels’s famous penitential prayer on behalf of the community.  As we near Ash Wednesday, we might prepare ourselves for our Lenten journey by reading three other passages along with today’s from Daniel. Ezra 9:6-15 and Nehemiah 1:5-11 and 9:6-37.  In this story, both priest and administrator rebuild the Jerusalem temple after Cyrus allows the Jewish people to return from exile.  They have been told that their exile will last not 70 weeks or 70 years as was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah.  No, they receive word that their captivity will end in seven times seventy or in 490 years.  This is gloomy news until we begin to understand that this is precisely the amount of time until the arrival of Jesus.

The HARPER COLLINS COMMENTARY tells us that this prayer we read today is not seen so much as a petition from the people which God obeys but rather as an appropriate act of piety from a people who have erred and disobeyed.  It is for this reason that it is best to find others who will pray this together with us as an admission of our collective willfulness, waywardness and disobedience. (Mays 631)

And let us pray Daniel’s prayer much as the Jewish community prayed with Ezra and Nehemiah when they returned to their ruined city.

woman-kneeling[1]God of Heaven, God of Earth, Spirit Dwelling Among Us,

Guide us . . . and grant us the faith to follow,

Be glad in us . . . and grant us the hope to rejoice in you,

Love us . . . and grant us the grace to grow in you.

We wish to turn . . . we wish to return to you.

For you are the beginning, the end, the all.

We are your servants.

May we serve you well.

Amen. 

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 631. Print.

Adapted from a reflection written on February 17, 2008.

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