Thursday after Ash Wednesday
March 10, 2011
Deuteronomy 30: 15-20
Matthew 9: 22-25
Since the very early centuries of the Church, two penitential pastoral practices have been maintained: an exhortation to Prayer, Fasting and Service to the Poor on the one hand and keeping of Wednesdays and Fridays as days marked out for the penitential “Character,” so to say, on the other hand.
The Church always takes her lead from the words and example of Christ Himself. And a careful reading of the Gospels teaches us that Jesus prayed daily, that He fasted and sought out the poor in order to help them.
In the middle of the Third Century the local church began the custom of reserving Wednesdays and Fridays as periods of Prayer and Penance, accompanied by the offering of Holy Mass.
May this Holy Season of Lent, accompanied by public and private penitential practices help us to understand and appreciate both the seriousness of sin and also the sufferings of Christ who went to His Death in order to save us.
May this Liturgical Season grant to us the Grace to understand and to appreciate the profound riches of the Daily Lenten Readings at Mass.
May this period grant to us a deeper understanding of and a strong desire to receive the Sacrament of Penance in which Jesus awaits us to grant His Mercy and Forgiveness.
V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee;
R. Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.