Lectionary Reflections: Ash Wednesday February 10, 2016

Engaging Faith | Wed, Feb 3, 2016

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Ash Wednesday

February 10, 2016


Joel 2:12-18

2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2

Matthew 6:1-6,16-18



February 9: Mardi Gras

February 10: Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent

February 11: World Day of the Sick

February 11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 14: Valentine’s Day



Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.

-Pope Francis, 2015 Message for Lent

The Christian message does not inhibit men and women from building up the world, or make them disinterested in the welfare of their fellow human beings: on the contrary it obliges them more fully to do these very things.

-Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 34

We must reject the temptation to offer a privatized and individualistic spirituality.

-John Paul II, 2001 Message for Lent at the End of the Jubilee Year

In the face of the terrible challenge of poverty afflicting so much of the world’s population, indifference and self-centered isolation stand in stark contrast to the “gaze” of Christ.  

-Benedict XVI, 2006 Message for Lent

Fasting is an aid to open our eyes to the situation in which so many of our brothers and sisters live. …. Voluntary fasting enables us to grow in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, who bends low and goes to the help of his suffering brother.

-Benedict XVI, 2009 Message for Lent

In imitation of our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it.

-Pope Francis, 2014 Message for Lent

Reading the Bible with the eyes of the poor is a different thing from reading it with a full belly. If it is read in the light of the experience and the hopes of the oppressed, the Bible's revolutionary themes - promise, exodus, resurrection and spirit - come alive.

-Jurgen Moltmann, The Church in the Power of the Spirit


Thoughts for Your Consideration

The prophet Joel calls for an assembly of all the people.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!

proclaim a fast,

call an assembly;

Gather the people,

notify the congregation;

Assemble the elders,

gather the children

and the infants at the breast;

We are more than individuals looking out for ourselves.

Reform in any age is a call for the community to come together for the common good.

What reform does your local community need this season?  Are you being called to address issues around racial diversity or justice for immigrants or economic inequality or quality education for children or hunger and homelessness or religious persecution or environmental justice?


To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, SJ, as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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