March 1, 2017 – Ash Wednesday
The following is a 2016 Ash Wednesday message from Pope Francis:
Jesus told his disciples, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness before men to be seen by them” … “When you give alms do not sound a trumpet before you” … “Your Father who sees He will reward you “in secret.
God’s word gives us the proper orientation for living Lent well.
When we do something well, sometimes we are tempted to be appreciated and to have a reward: the human glory. But it is a false reward because we projected towards what others think of us.
Jesus asks us to do good because it is good. He asks us to feel always under the gaze of our heavenly Father and to live in union with Him, not in relation to the judgment of others.
Live in the presence of the Father is a much deeper joy of worldly glory.
Our attitude in this Lent is thus to live in secret where the Father sees us, loves us, waiting for us. Of course, external things are important, but we must always choose and live in God’s presence.