Thought of the day
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Lent leads to baptism on Easter night for the forgiveness of sins


Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350), Bishop of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church 
Catechesis before baptism, no.1, 1.5
Lent leads to baptism on Easter night for the forgiveness of sins

[“Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”] Now you who are about to be baptized are already disciples of the New Covenant and participators in Christ's mysteries have already made yourselves “a new heart and a new spirit” to the joy of the inhabitants of heaven... You have set out on a good, a most beautiful journey...: the only Son of God is all ready to redeem you. “Come, all you who struggle beneath the weight of the burden,” he says, “and I will give you rest.” You who are weighed down and afflicted by your sins, held in the bonds of your faults, listen to the prophet: “Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes” that the choir of angels may cry out to you: “Happy those whose faults are taken away, whose sins are covered!”...

This is the time for confession. Confess the sins you have committed in word or deed, by day or by night. Confess during this “favorable time” and on “the day of salvation”; receive heaven's treasure... Rid yourself from all human preoccupations; attend to your soul... Leave the present behind and put your faith in the future...: “Be still, and know that I am God”... Purify your heart that you may receive even greater grace: forgiveness of sins is given equally to all but participation in the Holy Spirit is granted to each one according to the measure of their faith. If you give yourself little trouble, you will receive little. If you work hard, your reward will be great...
If you have a grudge against anyone, forgive. You are coming to the baptistery to receive the forgiveness of your sins: you too must be indulgent towards sinners.

( Biblical references : Ac 2,38; Ez 18,31; Lk 15,7;  Mt 11,28; Prv 5,22; Is 1,16; Ps 31[32],1; Is 49,8; 2Co 6,2; Ps 45[46],11)


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