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Vol: 46, No.18 ASH WEDNESDAY ( C) March 06 2019  
 
A reading from the Book of Joel (2:12­-18)
“Yet, even now,” says the Lord, “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Who knows whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and bride her chamber. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and make not thy heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” Then the Lord became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people.
The Word of the Lord
PSALM (51)
Response: Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offence. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. R/
My offences truly I know them; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done. R/
A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy Spirit. R/
Give me again the joy of your help; with a spirit of fervour sustain me, O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise. R/
 
SECOND READING
(Paul announces that Christians are ambassadors of Christ called to work in close collaboration with him. He further adds that the acceptable time and the day of salvation are near).
A reading from the Second Letter of StPaul to the Corinthians (5:20–6:2)
Brethren, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, “At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.” Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
The Word of the Lord
ACCLAMATION
A pure heart create for me, O God, and give me again the joy of your help.
(Ps 51:12, 14)
GOSPEL
(Almsgiving, prayer and fasting are central elements in Jewish religion, and all these are assumed to be valid for Jesus’ disciples. The issue is not whether you should do them, but how and why).
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Matthew (6:1-6, 16-18)
Jesus said to His disciples: “Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
“Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is
Forthcoming Issues
ASH WEDNESDAY
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