Scripture Reflections for Ash Wednesday

Year B, Lectionary 219

Ash Wednesday can become mechanical and routine. We have ashes placed on our foreheads and we begin to think about what we may need to give up but it's so much more than that. The scripture readings are calling us to pray, fast and almsgiving. But there's a hidden meaning behind these besides just not eating or giving away money. There's a call for a transformation of heart, of reverting our attention back to God and that will often require us to stop clinching to things of this world.

Hate feeling lost on Sundays at church? Searching for a better explanation of the Bible than what you hear from your pastor's sermon? Check out the following collection of audio, video, and text commentaries from various Christian experts for a better understanding of today's scripture that deal with: AlmsgivingAshBaptismBlameCainChangeCommunityCrisisDeathEnvironmentFastFocusForgiveHolyHopeHumilityJourneyJusticeLentLovePraisePrayerReconciliationReflectionRelationshipRememberRepentResurrectionSinTransformation

Psalm 51:3-6, 12-14, 17
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

“Ashes remind us of what? That God created us, that called us into existence, into being. When we put these ashes upon our forehead we are reminded that we are loved and dependent on our God for life.”

UACatholic | Fr. John Paul Forté, OP | February 14, 2024

“The purpose of fasting, people of God, is not to make us mean. It's to challenge do or to not do. Choose something that's going to help you because when you do that, with God's help, with the support of this community, we emerge after 40 days, what? More generous, more free, more loving”

UACatholic | Fr. John Paul Forté, OP | February 22, 2023

“Prayer gives us that opportunity of growing in communion with God. And we can only be communion with God when we are in communion with one another”

Fr. Emmanuel Ochigbo | February 27, 2022

“For me the almsgiving is giving every part of my body: my voice, my heart, my lips, my ears”

Catholic Women Preach | Sr. Cora Marie Billings, RSM | March 2, 2022
Overall Readings

“when a person put ashes on their forehead, what were they doing? They were recognizing their mortality like Adam, they were repenting for sin like Job, and they were interceding for others like Daniel or like Esther.”

Catholic Productions | "The Biblical Roots of Ash Wednesday" | Brant Pitre | February 23, 2017

“I know that the world does not like the inward journey but now I have decided to make that journey. Not going out to find faults with people but journey into myself to bring out the better version of myself”

Fr. Emmanuel Ochigbo | February 20, 2023

“A strong person can own up to their frailties, a strong person will go to the people they love and say 'I am so sorry.' A strong person will lay themselves down before the Most High saying 'you brought me this far but I know we have so much farther to go and so I humble myself before you because I need you to survive'”

Saint Katharine Drexel Parish - Boston, MA | Fr. Oscar Pratt | February 17, 2021

“A wise Jesuit colleague said to me, 'if we're not going to pray about it then we missed the whole point of being in relationship with Christ'”

Catholic Women Preach | Christine E. Boyle | February 18, 2019

“ask yourself, 'how can I grow closer to Christ this Lent?'...This is the invitation that Christ is giving you today. And if you hear his voice harden not your hearts.”

Holy Name of Jesus Church & Loyola Ministry | Fr. Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ | March 2, 2022

“Lent is about a belief in the big 're': resurrection; to rise again”

Catholic Women Preach | Karen Gargamelli-McCreight | February 14, 2018

“Lent is not an individual action. It's communal. And in that communal action we have the hard work of being the body of Christ”

Catholic Women Preach | Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS | March 1, 2017

“And all of this symbols symbolizes the whole season of Lent. The season that we reflect, yes, on our sins. That like Cain we are sinners but also enjoy knowing that we'll always have the mark of God on us. That we'll always have the love and protection of our God and savior no matter how badly we sin, God will always welcome us back.”

Holy Name of Jesus Church & Loyola Ministry | Fr. Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ | February 22, 2023

“The way in which we live our life now would determine the future after death. As we live so shall we die. And as we die so shall our eternity begin”

Fr. Tony Ricard | March 2, 2022

“Could it be then if we rend our hearts this Lent we would find more the capacity to live and love as God would want us to?”

Catholic Women Preach | Rose Lue | February 22, 2023

“this land needs healing. You know the best place to start? It's with the heart.”

St. Teresa of Avila - DC | Monsignor Raymond East | March 2, 2022

“How do you believe God is inviting you into a Lenten journey that is uniquely beautiful and uniquely yours? What is God calling you back to? How will your heart make its way home?”

Catholic Women Preach | Clarissa V. Aljentera | February 14, 2024

“ultimately Lent is not about what I will do but who I will be”

Holy Name of Jesus Church & Loyola Ministry | Fr. Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ | February 14, 2024