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.read more
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.read more
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.”read more
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.”read more
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.read more
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.read more
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: First Sunday of Lent A & St. John Joseph of the Cross, March 5,2017
Pope Benedict XVI called the temptation of Jesus in the desert “a descent into the perils besetting mankind.” This happened so that we may be counted among those “who receive the abundance of grace, coming to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.” The “one righteous act” that Saint Paul speaks about in the Letter to the Romans is Jesus’ unfailing fidelity to the Father’s will. As the serpent comes close, we will not be duped by the suggestion that somehow God will be jealous at the prospect that we “will be like gods.” For it is God himself who planted that hope in our hearts. It is the Lord’s greatest joy and glory that we share his image and likeness… not through self-seeking but through the obedience by which “many will be made righteous” – that is, will become like God.read more
Readings & Reflections: Saturday after Ash Wednesday & St. Casimir, March 4,2017
Matthew’s “gloom became like midday” when Jesus uttered the words “Follow me.” Christ has come to call sinners. Only his Presence gives us the courage to stop following our own ways and seeking our own interests. Anyone who pleads to the Lord for his goodness and forgiveness will know the renewal of strength. Those who acknowledge that they are “afflicted and poor” will “ride on the heights.”read more
Readings & Reflections: Friday after Ash Wednesday & St. Katharine Drexel, March 3,2017
Fasting is a form of self-deprivation that deepens our appreciation of and longing for the food we really need. The reason why Christ’s disciples do not fast is because they have given themselves over to Jesus who is their Food. We fast in order to seek him day after day and to desire more to know his ways. We fast so that this Lent Christ will become our All.
Heavenly Father, this season of Lent, enable me to fastin a manner that leads to conversion of my heart — to compassion: Enable a conversion in my heart so that I may be your instrument of compassion in releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the homeless; clothing the naked when I see them, and not turn my back on them. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections: Thursday after Ash Wednesday & St. Agnes of Bohemia, March 2,2017
Jesus declares, “Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” This is sacrifice: handing our imperfect self over to the One who responds by handing us back our true self through his gift of self on the cross. The Lord sets before us life and death, and asks us to “choose life” by obediently taking up Christ’s cross of death. “Without a ‘dying’, without the demise of what is simply our own, there is no communion with God and no redemption” (Pope Benedict XVI).read more
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