Feb. 14, 2018 (Ash Wednesday)

“Return to me,” “Rend your hearts, not your vestments,” “Be reconciled to God.” Our first and second readings speak of conversion. The Gospel goes one step farther and asks for a conversion of the traditional practices prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. For you see, penitential practices, in themselves, don’t guarantee a return to God. Only a rending of the heart does, as Joel tells us, and this must happen in secret where our God is hidden, as the Gospel tells us.

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