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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

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Ash Wednesday

Joel 2:12-18
2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2
Psalm 51:3-6, 12-14, 17
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

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humble holiness

“For our sakes God made Him Who did not know sin, to be sin, so that in Him we might become the very holiness of God.”—2 Corinthians 5:21

How humbling of the immortal, all-holy Jesus to be mortal and to be, as it were, sin. God made Jesus to be sin — sin that was cursed, sin that was to be vanquished. And He did this “for our sake,” so that we might become the very holiness of God (2 Cor 5:21). Now, for His sake, we become humbled so that others might become the holiness of God.
The key is to humble our hearts before God. The Lord cannot resist a humbled, contrite heart (see Ps 51:19). That’s His heart, humbled, even “grieved” (Gn 6:6), as it were, ready to reach out and personally suffer, although innocent, so as to redeem a broken world. So the Church invites us to share in God’s humility today through ashes, to share in God’s grieving through prayerful groaning (Rm 8:26), to share in God’s redeeming by our penance and acts of reparation. 
Will you share in Jesus’ ministry of humility, grieving, and redemption? He has made you “the very holiness of God” (2 Cor 5:21) so that you may be His ministers of reconciliation, His ambassadors (2 Cor 5:18, 20). An ambassador lives in a foreign nation, representing his or her people to another land. Can you humble yourself and represent God to those who do not know Him?

Prayer:  Father, may I humble myself fully so as to exalt You to all.

Promise:  “Keep your deeds of mercy secret, and your Father Who sees in secret will repay you.” —Mt 6:4

Praise:  Today the Church prays, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return” (see Eccl 3:20).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio March 31, 2020"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.