The post below is from today’s email reflection (in it’s entirety) on the Scripture readings for Mass by Deacon Thom Winninger. Emphasis in purple is mine.
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Good Morning, my beloved disciple, I am with you today.
Return to me with your whole heart.
Today’s Encounter…Jesus Speaking (Mk. 5:1-6, 16-18) C Ash Wed.
This is a time to fast and abstain, but the object is not fast and abstinence; it is to make room in your life for me. It is a time to get control of the desires that lead you away from me.
The prophet Joel wrote to the people of Judah, “Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts not your garments” (Jl 2:12-18).
The object of my desert experience was to order my life on the mission for which I came into the world, to save you from your sins.
The psalmist sang, “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned” (Ps. 5: 3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 And 17).
Now is the time to accept your call as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Brothers and sisters: We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing (to the world) through us. We appeal to you, not to receive that grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 5:20-6:2).
Paul knew well that if you do not reconcile yourself to my Father, all grace you receive is in vain. If you fail to acknowledge that you have sinned and seek to sin no more, the soul is not open to the full benefit of grace.
As Paul reported I said, “In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is the day of salvation.
I said to my disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.”
Your desert experience is not for public display but for private revelation.
Morning: Oh Lord, help me today to make room for you in my life.
Evening: O Lord, how today did I make room for you in my life?