Today's gospel from chapter 6 of Matthew's gospel lays out the three traditional practices associated with Lent: Alms-Giving, Prayer, and Fasting. Worth noting also is verse immediately before that literally explains the goal of these practices. Mt. 5:49 in which we are commanded to "Be Perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect."
On the surface it seems an impossible demand, but it isn't. The word which gets translated as perfect is the Greek word teleios, At its root it refers to being complete, reaching a goal, reaching the end for which something exists. To be perfect in this sense does not mean that God expects me to be flawless. Very simply put it means being the person God intended me to be, to do what God put me here to do.
Today we begin the season of Lent with three practices:
Alms-Giving- that turns my attention away from myself
Prayer- that turns my mind and heart to God
Fasting- that strips away all the unnecessary in my life
that we may each day do the will of God a be the person God calls us to be.