ASH WEDNESDAY..

Reading 1, Joel 2:12-18

12 ‘But now — declares Yahweh- come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning.’

13 Tear your hearts and not your clothes, and come back to Yahweh your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and he relents about inflicting disaster.

14 Who knows if he will not come back, relent and leave a blessingbehind him, a cereal offering and a libation to be presented to Yahweh your God?

15 Blow the ram’s-horn in Zion! Order a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,

16 call the people together, summon the community, assemble the elders, gather the children, even infants at the breast! Call the bridegroom from his bedroom and the bride from her bower!

17 Let the priests, the ministers of Yahweh, stand weeping between portico and altar, saying, ‘Spare your people, Yahweh! Do not expose your heritage to the contempt, to the sarcasm of the nations! Why give the peoples cause to say, “Where is their God?” ‘

18 Then, becoming jealous over his country, Yahweh took pity on his people.

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