Cycle A

Good News A11d

Ash Wednesday, First Day in Lent

 

New American Bible Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Bible Gateway New International Version Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

 

Facts about Lent from Wikipedia

 

This is the very first day of Lent.  Lent is the 40 days (not counting Sundays) before Easter Sunday when Jesus arose from the dead. He died so that our sins would be forgiven. Moses and Elijah spent 40 days in the wilderness. God made it rain for 40 days and 40 nights when Noah built the Ark. Jesus went into the desert and fasted for 40 days.  This Gospel is a good one for this time:  Almsgiving (giving to the poor), Prayer, and Fasting are things the early people did before they were baptized and became Christians on Easter Sunday.  Then they decided everyone in the church should do it to get ready for a rebirth and renewal of their Baptismal vows on Easter Sunday.  Catholics and some other churches still do it today.  

When you give to the poor, do not give just so everyone will know how “good” you are. Don’t do it and then tell people how great you are. Keep it a secret. Your Father who sees in secret will repay you with a heavenly reward. 

When you pray, do not say out loud, “Now I am going to pray out on the streets and in the church where everyone can see me.  Fix up a Prayer Corner in your home.  Put a basket there with a Bible, a pencil, and paper.  Any time of day is a good time to pray.  Prayer is talking with God.  When you talk with God you can praise him, ask him, and thank him.   Worship him by congratulating him on his work. Thank him for people, animals, places, and things in your life.  Ask him for favors…healing, food, clothing, shelter for yourself and others.  Any place is a good place to pray. Pray silently alone or pray with a friend. Here are 40 places/times to pray. 

1.     Pray in the morning.

2.     Pray before you go to bed.

3.     Pray when you are happy

4.     Pray when you are sad.

5.     Pray when you are afraid.

6.     Pray while cooking.

7.     Pray while you are working.

8.     Pray before meals.

9.     Pray after meals.

10. Pray before a trip. 

11. Pray during a trip.

12. Pray after a trip. 

13. Pray before a game. 

14. Pray when you hear an ambulance.

15. Pray when you see a car broken down on the highway.

16. Pray before a test. 

17. Pray during a test. 

18. Pray after a test. 

19. Pray at home.

20. Pray at church.

21. Pray in a car.

22. Pray in a bus.

23. Pray in a train.

24. Pray in a boat.

25. Pray in a plane.

26. Pray in a chair.

27. Pray jumping in the air.

28. Pray while building with blocks.

29. Pray while looking at clocks.

         28.Pray before shopping.

         29.Pray while shopping.

         30.Pray after shopping.

         31.Pray before going to the doctor.

         32.Pray during visit to the doctor.

         33.Pray after visit to the doctor.

         34.Pray in a tree.

         35.Pray on a swing.

         36.Pray on a ferris wheel.

         37.Pray in a wagon.

         38.Pray in a store.

         39.Pray in a museum.

         40.Pray in a zoo.

         

When you fast or go without candy, meat, or other things for Lent, do not wear your poor puppy face. Put on a smiling face so that no one will know you are fasting for the Lord. Store up treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.  Draw a heart and put these words on it.  “Lord, I am doing everything good for you.”  Tape it on your mirror, put it in your pocket, or pin it inside your jacket (so no one can see it, but you and God).

Say the “Our Father” and thank God for all the good things you have to share with others.  Thank God for all the times he has sent someone to help you.  Thank God for listening to you and creating you.

 

 

“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.”

 

 

Copyright © 2006 Joan Y. Edwards. http://www.joanyedwards.com  All rights reserved.