do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift remains really secret. Your Father, who sees what is kept secret,
will reward you. When you pray, do not be like those who want to be noticed. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on street corners,
in order to be seen by everyone. I assure you, they have their reward. When you pray, go into your room, close the door,
and pray to your Father who is with you in secret; and your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you.
When you fast, do not put on a miserable face, as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so that people can see they are fasting.
I tell you this: they have been paid in full already. When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful,
because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father, who sees beyond appearances. And your Father,
who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.
In Western countries, the time of the carnival precedes the season of Lent. It involves public celebrations and parades where people use elaborate costumes and masks.
Now, it is Ash Wednesday. It's time to throw away the masks not only of the Carnival but also those that we wear every day to prove to be good parents,
good children, and good citizens; masks that we wear in order to be accepted and to be loved by a world that is so demanding and judging.
We start with a fast that will help us remember what is really essential in our lives,
referring to that one bread that satisfies us and to that water that quenches us. In these forty days we will try, as every year,
to take stock of our life, focusing on the things that need to be changed, the sin that prevents us from living as Easter people,
the sadness that hampers us to live as God’s children.
Lent begins with the austere sign of the imposition of ashes, to remind us that we are only dust and that life on earth is but a passing reality.
We are called to anchor ourselves to God and to the values of the Kingdom.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2020