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Ash Wednesday Scripture Reflections: A time of spiritual renewal, conversion and growth in faith.

First Reading: Joel 2: 12-18 | Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 51: 3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17 | Second Reading: Second Corinthians 5: 20 – 6:2 | Verse Before the Gospel: Psalms 95: 8 | Gospel: Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18

Reflection on today’s reading is by Fernando Nimbu, SJ., AJAN Liaison officer.

Today, as we begin the season of Lent, it is a favorable time to prepare for the Lord’s Passover, we are called to turn earnestly to God, to tear our hearts rather than our garments, as the first reading of the prophet Joel reminds us. It is a time for us to repent of our sins, to turn to God with contrite and open hearts, for He is tender and merciful, slow to anger and full of love.

The psalm invites us to cry out for God’s mercy and acknowledge our sins, asking God to create pure hearts in us and renew our spirits. May our prayer be that of a contrite and repentant people, trusting in the goodness and mercy of our Lord.

In the second reading, St. Paul exhorts us to be reconciled to God and to seize the right moment to respond to his call. We are called to become cooperators with God, not to let the grace we have received go unnoticed, but to act with faith and diligence in our spiritual journey.

Finally, the Gospel according to St. Matthew warns us against hypocrisy in our religious practices. Let our fasting, almsgiving, and prayer be sincere and discreet, knowing that Heavenly Father sees what is done in secret and will reward us accordingly.

At the beginning of Lent, I would like to ask for the grace that we may turn to God with truly repentant hearts, that our fight against HIV and AIDS may be marked by God’s will, that we may accompany young people with charity and dedication. May this Lenten season be for us a time of spiritual renewal, conversion and growth in faith.

May God bless us and accompany us on this journey towards Easter.


Ismael Matambura



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