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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for March 6, 2019

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WEDNESDAY, March 6                  Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6:16 And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.

Growing up Presbyterian, I don’t recall observing Ash Wednesday, much less fasting. As an adult Episcopalian, I decided that since gluttony is one of my more obvious sins, not eating on Ash Wednesday would be an appropriate discipline.

For several years, I set dinner on the table for my husband and our daughter, neither of whom felt called to this particular self-denial.

“You’re not eating?”

“It’s Ash Wednesday.”

“Oh.”

Eventually, I realized I was merely trying to show myself (and everyone else) that I was piously observant. Fasting had absolutely nothing to do with coming closer to Jesus; it was all about me.

I still wrestle each year with what to give up or take on for Lent. Fasting is giving up the illusion that I’m in control of my life.

MOVING FORWARD: From what will you fast and on what will you feast for Lent?

PRAY for the Diocese of Meath & Kildare (Ireland)

Ps 103 or 103:8-14 | Joel 2:1-2,12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12 |
2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10 | Matthew 6:1-6,16-21

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