As we begin the Lenten Season this Ash Wednesday, our Lord reminds us to avoid the KSP Attitude (wanting to be noticed) and start practicing humility because what God sees are not the externals but the heart.
In the Philippines, the term KSP or “Kulang Sa Pansin” is a colloquial word for someone who is perceived to be lacking in attention. KSPs spend most of their time creating situations in which they become the center of attention that is why most people would consider them as emotionally immature persons.
During the time of our Lord, there were also KSP people. They would use these three pious external practices of almsgiving, praying, and fasting to get people’s attention. The KSP Jews in the temple would drop their huge alms or donations to a chest that would create a very loud sound noticeable for people. Many Pharisees choose to pray in the synagogues and streets so that they will be more visible. Other Jews fast by wearing long faces in public.
Sad to say, this KSP attitude remains today. We still want to be seen and to be praised. It gives us satisfaction whenever they mention our names when we give something to the church. We want to be seen praying with all our devotions and litanies. We are to be applauded for our fasting and abstinence. In other words, we just want to be noticed, KSP.
That is why this Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season, we will bear the crosses written out of ash as a reminder that we are all nothing but ashes. We should not be the center of attention but rather instruments to help others focus on the Lord. The three pious external practices of giving alms, praying, and fasting, if done according to the instruction of our Lord will help us to grow closer to Him, and make Him the center of our life.
Let us begin removing our KSP attitude and start practicing humility because what God sees are not the externals but the heart.
D. John Michael O. Dion Sch. P.
Wednesday, March 02, 2022 | Ash Wednesday
Matthew 6:1-6.16-18: Your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.
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.»
Br. JOHN MICHAEL O. DION
John Michael hails from the Diocese of Tarlac, Philippines. He is a Psychology graduate, joined the Piarist Fathers in 2012. He took Philosophy units at the Rogationist Seminary and Certificate for Professional Education at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. In 2020, he finished his Bachelor in Sacred Theology and Master of Arts in Pastoral ministry, specialized in Spirituality and Retreat Direction at the Loyola School of Theology – Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. Currently, he is assigned at Calasanz de Davao Community, working as a subject teacher for Philippine history, World Religions, Applied Social Sciences, and Religious Studies at Calasanz de Davao Academy, Inc.