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To: All
Tuesday before Ash Wednesday

Matthew’s Passion

Each of the Gospels has its own characteristics – a distinctive writing style, some content the others do not have, and differences in the order of events.

One of the characteristics of Matthew’s Gospel is the frequent citation of Old Testament texts that relate to an event in the life of Jesus. It is in Matthew that Jesus says at his arrest: “All this has come to pass so that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.”

Matthew also uses vivid details that catch the imagination. In the Infancy Narrative, for example, He has Magi who come from the East, a star, precious gifts, dreams.

In the Passion account, it is Matthew who has Judas throw the 30 pieces of silver into the Temple and then hang himself, Pilate’s wife intervene with a dream in the middle of the trial, and Pilate wash his hands in front of the crowd.

And when Jesus dies, there is an earthquake, and the dead rising from their tombs and entering Jerusalem. These are not told for their own sake, but to bring out a deeper meaning. Matthew wants us to realize that what is taking place affects the earth and the heavens, and affects both this life and life after death.

Despite their differences, in the Passion account, the four evangelists have the most in common. This is because it was a story told and re-told long before the evangelists put it in writing.

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.

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14 posted on 02/20/2007 9:13:00 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

By wearing a cross of ashes on their foreheads, Christians ask God’s help to see things as they really are, (Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.”) and to set their eyes on what lasts forever. They also express their bond with other disciples of the Lord who publicly wear those ashes on their foreheads.

During the Reformation, most Protestant churches eliminated the use of ashes, along with many other external practices. As a result, a person wearing ashes on Ash Wednesday was identified as a Catholic.

That isn’t necessarily true today. In recent years, many of these Churches have been returning to the use of the ashes a a sacred symbol.

* * * *

Although most Catholics may be familiar with the “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.” The Church also provides an alternative prayer when ashes are distributed. “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel,” which is taken from Mark 1:15.

15 posted on 02/21/2007 9:11:03 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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