Friday after Ash Wednesday

Pating with gold leaf of Christ and the Apostles by Duccio di Buoninsegna.

Daily Offering

Lord, help me to take today as it comes and see each moment, good or bad, as a gift from you.

Stephen Noon SJ

Entering into Prayer

Consciously take deep and slow breaths. You might imagine yourself breathing in the Spirit of God and breathing out this same spirit to others or you might breathe out all that you want to leave behind e.g. jealousy, fear, bitterness. After your time of stilling, take a little time to recognise that you are in the presence of God. Ask God for whatever gift or grace you feel you need at this time.

Today's Scripture (Matthew 9: 14-15) 

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Food for Thought

John’s disciples are uneasy about Jesus. As devout Jews they observed regular obligatory fasts and would also undertake private fasting, by way of praying for God’s salvation and hastening the coming of the Messiah. Yet Jesus celebrates and shares meals with everybody, especially the outcasts, the prodigals, the sinners, to let them know that in him the joyful time of salvation had already arrived. The new beginning, symbolised by the wedding, is well and truly under way. But on the journey there will also be a time to fast.

Suggestions for Prayer

Prayerfully look over the last year. Ask God to show you what he wants to show you. When have you felt the bridegroom has been taken away? Where have you experienced emptiness, loneliness, unfulfillment? What did you do? What was helpful? Turn to God and speak to him about these times asking for healing and forgiveness if it is needed. End with a formal prayer, such as the Lord’s Prayer.

How are you going to respond today?

Think about ways to bring the good news that the Bridegroom brings to those you meet today. Perhaps find a way to share your food by donating to a food bank, inviting someone to a meal or in some other way.

Image for the Day

Pating with gold leaf of Christ and the Apostles by Duccio di Buoninsegna.

  • What does this image say to you?

  • What would you say to Jesus if you could sit or walk with him today?

  • What do you think Jesus would say to you?

Examen

Sit or stand and let God look at you. Breathe in God’s love. Breathe out into God how you are right now. Ask for God’s light as you look over the day. What makes you glad? Breathe it in. What makes you sad? Let yourself feel it. Do not be afraid. Breathe in God’s love. What do you need to help you? Let God know.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, Amen.


(Stephen Hoyland)
 

Going Deeper

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