The sections of Matthew 6 that we will be reading on Ash Wednesday are part of the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus came down from that mountain he started on the road that would lead him to his death. Like his disciples we are invited to walk with Jesus to Jerusalem over the next forty days.
We begin the journey with Christ’s teaching about our life with God, that we should engage in acts of charity, prayer and fasting, and be doing these things in the right spirit:
- Acts of charity are to be done for God’s glory and not our own
- Prayer time is precious time spent with God, and not a way to draw attention to ourselves
- Fasting is a special act of piety, to be done quietly, and not with fanfare, sad face, or pronouncement
Christ’s teaching reminds us of our own dependence on God and His grace to supply our needs; that we are created by God to worship and glorify Him; that our actions matter and have significance, and are a witness to our faith in God to others.
By acts of charity, prayer, and fasting we continue to develop and strengthen our life with God, helping to sustain us during our walk with Christ and to support us when the path gets troublesome and rocky. [Adapted from a sermon at this link]