Today is Ash Wednesday. In the Gospel reading from Mark 6, Jesus gave the teaching about almsgiving, the teaching about prayer, and the teaching about fasting. The lesson: we are to give alms, to pray, and to fast for God alone, not for others, for performing righteous deeds for others to see is the same as doing them for oneself. This is a clear guide to living a selfless life, a secret one, you might say, in God. How well we succeed directly affects how much the Father will repay us.