Friday after Ash Wednesday
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
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?
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.