Matthew 6:1-6,16-21

The Holy Gospel for Ash Wednesday

Jesus said, "Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

"So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Psalm 50:1-6

1 The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken; *
he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

2 Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God reveals himself in glory.

3 Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before him there is a consuming flame,
and round about him a raging storm.

4 He calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of his people.

5 "Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me
and sealed it with sacrifice."

6 Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; *
for God himself is judge.

Matthew 7:24-27

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and b eat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell - great was its fall!"

Isaiah 24:1-3

Now the LORD is about to lay waste the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor.

Luke 1:26, 27

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engage to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin's name was Mary.  And, he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one!  The Lord is with you."
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb.  And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

Joshua 10:12-14

On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
"O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."
So the sun stood still, 
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, 
as it is written in the book of Jashar.  The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.  There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man.  Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!

Jude1:17-21

You, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; for they said to you, "In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts."  It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit who are causing divisions. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Psalm 24:7-10

7 Lift up your heads, O gates;
lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the King of glory shall come in. 

8 "Who is this King of glory?" *
"The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle." 

9 Lift up your heads, O gates;
lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the King of glory shall come in. 

10 "Who is he, this King of glory?" *
"The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory."

Psalm 111

1 Hallelujah!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, *
in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.

2 Great are the deeds of the Lord! *
they are studied by all who delight in them.

3 His work is full of majesty and splendor, *
and his righteousness endures for ever.

4 He makes his marvelous works to be remembered; *
the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.

5 He gives food to those who fear him; *
he is ever mindful of his covenant.

6 He has shown his people the power of his works *
in giving them the lands of the nations.

7 The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice; *
all his commandments are sure.

8 They stand fast for ever and ever, *
because they are done in truth and equity.

9 He sent redemption to his people;
he commanded his covenant for ever; *
holy and awesome is his Name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; *
those who act accordingly have a good understanding;
his praise endures for ever.

2 Corinthians 2:13, 14

But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.