Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent & St. Louise de Marillac, March 15,2017
The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem conspire against Jeremiah: “Let us carefully note his every word.” Christ’s words make plain today the impending events of Calvary: handed over, condemned, mocked, scourged, crucified, raised. The “indignation” that we so often share with the plotters against Jeremiah is quelled as we take to heart these words of Jesus: “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve… to give his life as a ransom.”
Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent & St. Maximilian, March 14,2017
One of the most difficult things to do in life is to admit our sins. But if the Father had send his Son in order to save us from them, then our sins must in fact be “like scarlet, crimson red.” Humility means admitting our evil and, in that knowledge, acknowledging that we are made for God’s infinite greatness (and not for a Pharisaical exaltation of our own making). When we dare to humble ourselves in Confession, then the Lord shows us through his Precious Blood how his love has become like scarlet, crimson red.
Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Second Week of Lent & St. Leander of Seville, March 13,2017
Normally, a confession such as this – “We have sinned, done evil, rebelled and departed from your commandments” – would exact swift condemnation of us. One great grace of Lent is the confidence we have to make just such a confession with the certainty that “your Father is merciful.” The more we admit how wretched we are left to ourselves, the more we confide ourselves to Mercy. We stop judging, stop condemning, start forgiving and giving.
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Second Sunday of Lent A & Blessed Angela Salawa, March 12,2017
Pope Benedict XVI once said that “when one has the grace to sense a strong experience of God, it is as though seeing something similar to what the disciples experienced during the Transfiguration: For a moment they experienced ahead of time something that will constitute the happiness of paradise. In general, it is brief experiences that God grants on occasions, especially in anticipation of harsh trials.” It was this grace of a strong experience of God that filled Abram with the conviction to go forth from the land of his kinsfolk to a completely unknown land that God himself shows him. We, too, can bear our hardships for the Gospel, because through the grace of the Transfiguration we have been given “the strength that comes from God.” The grace we need in order to go where God directs us has been “made manifest through the appearance of our Savior Christ Jesus.”
Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the First Week of Lent & St. John Ogilvie, March 11,2017
Being “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” means loving those who do not love you. We can do so because God has made us “to be a people peculiarly his own.” When we give God’s love to those who deserve it least, God raises us high “in praise and renown and glory.” Love shared makes us a sacred people.
“Lord, your love brings freedom and pardon. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and set my heart ablaze with your love that nothing may make me lose my temper, ruffle my peace, take away my joy, nor make me bitter towards anyone.” Amen.
Readings & Reflections: Friday of the First Week in Lent & St. Dominic Savio, March 10,2017
For Jesus, righteousness means surrendering our anger to God. “If… you recall that your brother has anything against you,… go first and be reconciled.” For God rejoices when the wicked “turns from his evil way.” The presence of Jesus makes it possible for us to do “what is right and just,” to turn away from all… sins.” Then we “shall surely live,” we “shall not die” – the beginning of the Resurrection.
Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the First Week in Lent & St. Frances of Rome, March 9,2017
Queen Esther prostrates all her majesty before the Lord and prays, “Help me, who am alone and have no help but you.” There is no more perfect human gesture than such authentic prayer. Even in our wickedness we know how to give good gifts to our children. Which means that the inclination to pray is something as natural as our heart. Christ tells us to be true to our inborn need to depend: “Ask, seek, knock. You will find.”
Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the First Week of Lent & St. John of God, March 8,2017
“Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.” For three days Jonah walked through the “enormously large city” of Nineveh, proclaiming its impending destruction. The authoritative presence of Jonah moved the people to believe more in God’s mercy than in their own power to do evil. “The people of Nineveh believed God” through Jonah’s witness. They called “loudly to God.”
Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the First Week of Lent & Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, March 7,2017
The Lord promises that the Word which comes from his mouth will be like the rain and snow the come down from the heavens: Our Father who are in heaven. God’s fruitful Word gives bread to the one who eats: Give us this day our daily bread. God’s Word shall do his will: Thy will be done. God’s Word shall not return to him void: They Kingdom come. We forgive those who trespass against us. It will achieve the end for which God sends it: Deliver us from evil.
Readings & Reflections: Monday of the First Week of Lent & St. Mary Ann of Jesus of Paredes, March 6,2017
The gratuitous love demonstrated by the sheep who attend the hungry, the disadvantaged, and the sick is possible because they have themselves first been loved that way by the Lord, their “rock and redeemer.” The command “Be holy for I your God am holy” is not a warning or an ultimatum – rather, it is a guarantee that we can be.
“Lord Jesus, be the Master and Ruler of my heart. May your love rule in my heart that I may only think and act with charity towards all.” Amen.
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