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Ash Wednesday and the First Sunday in Lent

Intent: Self-examination


O loving God, look upon Thy children who have answered Thy call! Come to us with Thy mighty aid in our time of need. Cleanse us of all darkness and ignorance, let our tears be turned to jubilation, let Thy most glorious power watch over us until we enter Thy light. Let Thy great brightness come and cause the path to be lit before us, let Thy angels bring to us Thy garments, Thy crowns and Thy garlands; let our way be restful, let the door open before us into the column of glory, let us cross over in the ships of Light and rest for evermore.


The lesson is taken from the words of the Holy Prophet Mani:

The man whose mind is full of light is the one to whom belongs wisdom; as soon as he hears truth he welcomes it to himself; but he whose mind is without light, who is alien to it, does not take it to himself, nor does he listen to it. And every weak soul which has not learned the truth belonging to her is doomed to remain without any rest or happiness. God’s enlightening word is sweet when it finds ears to hear it; it does not lodge in a closed mind, makes not its way into a polluted shrine. Let us therefore examine our shrines, so that in cleanliness they may receive the Light.


The gospel is taken from the Gospel according to St. Thomas:

Jesus saw children who were being suckled. He said to his disciples: These children who are being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom. They said to Him: Shall we then, being children, enter the Kingdom? Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner and the above as the below, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female not be female, when you make eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in the place of a hand, and a foot in the place of a foot, and an image in the place of an image then shall you enter the Kingdom.


A Homily for Ash Wednesday and the Beginning of Lent

presented by the Most Reverend Stephan A. Hoeller, bishop of the Ecclesia Gnostic


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