Holyrood Church 715 West 179 Street, Upper West side Manhattan, USA, 212-923-3770

Lent is a time to step back and examine our lives.

Reading: Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Matthew 6:1a.
Good morning, Happy Wednesday, and many blessings my dear family. I remind you that today we have the celebration of Ash Wednesday with a trilingual mass at 7:00 pm, in person and online. And from 9:00am to 7:00pm we are sharing the ashes for the road.
With today’s Gospel (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18) we begin the season of Lent. Lent is a time to step back and examine our lives. Lent is a time to repent! Today is the day we receive ashes on our forehead (if we go to church)! The ashes are a symbol of the reality that we came forth from the earth and when we die, we will return to the earth. The words that accompany the offering of ashes remind us that we are “dust.” We will have an end. We will die. However, that will not be the “end” of us. We will live eternally (hopefully) with God!

Jesus’ words in this reading may give us ideas about what we might do during Lent. Jesus warns his disciples not to do good deeds simply so others will think well of them. Jesus wants his disciples to be aware of their motivation for what they do. He wants them to do what is right or good because they desire to help others, love others and make the world a better place.

Jesus is not primarily concerned about the actions of his disciples. Rather, He is concerned about their motivations. Jesus hopes their actions and decisions will flow from love of God, love of the Gospel and love for the people and the world. Love truly is all that matters!

How often do we stop and examine our motivations? It is easy to move through the day and simply go about our business. Are we concerned about others or are we too preoccupied to even notice the people around us? I believe that the majority of people in the world want to be good people. Most people do care for others and desire to help them!

However, our motivations are not always clean and pure. At times, do I choose to do something so the other person will think well of me? Do I go to church because that is truly where I want to be? Or do I attend simply because I am supposed to? When I am tired, do I ignore someone who might need some help? And if I am in a bad mood, do I take it out on another?

I assume that all of us have made some of the choices listed above at times in our lives. However, if the majority of our time and attention is focused primarily on us and our needs, it might be well to reflect on our choices. Most often the source of our happiness is in the people in our lives. Hopefully, most of the people around us bring us joy and love. Yes, there will be difficult times. However, if love is present, difficulties can be worked out. And in the daily, it is their presence, love and care that is the greatest gift we receive!

Today may we be mindful of our choices and decisions. Jesus also reminds us to be aware of our motivations. Why do we make the choices we do? Do our decisions flow from care and concern for others? Or do I usually do what is best for me? We all have heard the saying: “what would Jesus do?” Today we might experience a choice or challenge as we go about our day. May we pause for a moment and thoughtfully ask ourselves: What would Jesus do? And then just be still for 60 seconds and listen for His answer! Jesus will respond!

Date news: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 09:30

Ministry at the time of Coronavirus (Covid 19): Prevent, cure and accompany

Now we have to shape what some have started calling; The Church at Home. Although I keep asking myself; What do those who do not have a home do? For this reason, at the same time, I am declaring today in our Holyrood Church a Lenten day of prayer, fasting and reading the Bible in the Time of the Coronavirus.

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