READINGS (ASH WEDNESDAY)

FIRST READING
Jl 2:12-18

Rend your hearts, not your garments.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Joel

Even now, says the LORD,
   return to me with your whole heart,
   with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
   and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
   slow to anger, rich in kindness,
   and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
   and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
   for the LORD, your God.

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;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
   and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
   let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
   and make not your heritage a reproach,
   with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
   ‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
   and took pity on his people.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
   in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
   and of my sin cleanse me.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

For I acknowledge my offense,
   and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
   and done what is evil in your sight.”

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
   and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
   and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
   and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
   and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

SECOND READING
2 Cor 5:20-6:2 

Be reconciled to God. Behold, now is the acceptable time.

A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
   as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
   be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
   so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
   we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

   In an acceptable time I heard you,
      and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
   behold, now is the day of salvation.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
See Ps 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

GOSPEL
Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his 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.
When you give alms,
   do not blow a trumpet before you,
   as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
   to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
   they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
   do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
   so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray,
   do not be like the hypocrites,
   who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
   so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
   they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
   close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast,
   do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
   so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
   anoint your head and wash your face,
   so that you may not appear to be fasting,
   except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

At the end of the Gospel, the Deacon, or the Priest, acclaims:

The Gospel of the Lord.

All reply:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Then he kisses the book, saying quietly:

Through the words of the Gospel
may our sins be wiped away.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.