February 14, 2018 ASH WEDNESDAY-B

Joel 2:12-18

Psalm 51

2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

A clean heart create for me, O God… Ps. 51:10

“And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”  Mt 6:18

Lord, today we celebrate our love for each other because it’s Valentine’s Day.  It is also the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.  Love is the basis for both days.  My love for my spouse or someone very close is revealed with gifts and cards.  Your love for me is revealed in your offer of forgiveness and mercy.  That love will be confirmed on Good Friday and celebrated on Easter Sunday.   Between today and then I know you will look on me with love and see the good and the beautiful within me.  You will also see what isn’t beautiful or good.  This is what I pray, dear Jesus, I will leave behind this Lent.  I pray for a purging of whatever is not worthy of you and whatever does not give you glory.  I can’t hide from you my impure thoughts, my selfish desires, or my hardened heart.   Help me to fast from these hidden sins.  Lord, keep me in close touch with you in prayer everyday this Lent.   I offer you all I am to be purified and cleansed so I will grow in love with you.   Amen.