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Daily Reflections for Lent

Ellen Klein, FOCUS Missionary


"I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
John 11:25-26


What is life? What does it mean to have a full life? We are all physically alive. We breathe, eat, sleep, study and move. We all have life. Jesus also had a life on this earth, but what does He mean when He says in today’s Gospel, “I am the resurrection and the life?” Jesus does not only have a life, but He says He actually is Life. Therefore, unlike some may think, Jesus did not come to just teach or to try to turn bad people into good people. He came to make dead people alive! He came to pull us out of sin, to give us life once again. In order to truly live life the way we were made to live, we need to follow Jesus. He is Life. All He did, and all He is, leads to life. Even His death led to life! In the same way, Jesus can transform our sin into new life if we accept Him. Oftentimes we confuse “life” with “fun” or “pleasure” when the truth is Life is Jesus Christ. No doubt Jesus wants us to have fun, but He also shows us there is more to true happiness than simply fun. He shows us that there is great meaning behind everything that we do, especially our sufferings and sacrifices. After all, His suffering and death was necessary for His Resurrection. When we unite our sufferings to Jesus’ suffering on the cross, we too will experience the gift of new life. We will die and rise again with Him! Do not be afraid to give your life to Jesus because in turn, He will give you something even greater: new life, eternal life! In today’s Gospel, after Jesus tells Mary He is the “resurrection and the life,” He asks her “Do you believe this?” Do you believe that Jesus can bring you to life? Do you believe He can change your life? He is waiting for you to respond. He will always wait for you. All you have to do is let Him in.


Get Jesus. Get a life.


Jesus, thank You for the many gifts You have given me. Thank You for creating me and giving me life. Jesus, please take my life and all that I am. I desire to give it all to You. Show me Your will for my life and help me to trust in Your plans always. I love you. Amen.

Ws 2: 1, 12-22; Ps 34: 17-21,23; Jn 7: 1-2, 10, 25-30.

Alexis Rojas, C ‘17


"O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge."
Psalm 7: 1


When we face difficulties in life, it is easy to blame God or ask why He would let such things happen to us. We are quick to blame and often turn away from Him. However, this should not be the case. The moments we when feel most discouraged and when we are struggling most, should be the times we turn to Him. When we feel as if the world is on our shoulders, we must trust in God’s plan and know He will never give us more than we can handle. We all go through hardships and we should not get angry at God or blame Him. Struggling is simply part of life and we must accept it. It is easier to deal with the trials and pains of our lives when we trust He will always be there for us.


Lord, I pray You grant me the courage to fully trust in You. May I always turn to You in times of need and know You will always be there guiding me and granting me comfort. Amen.

Jer 11: 18-20, Ps 7: 2-3, 9b-12; Jn 7: 40-53

Jenna Lewis, FOCUS Missionary


"For their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the secret purposes of God."
Wisdom 2:22


Do we really know Jesus deep in our hearts or do we just passively accept a knowledge that never surpasses our minds? Do we find ourselves critiquing God, blaming Him for events in our lives, testing Him, or constantly trying to prove His existence? Belief takes going beyond the practicalities of our minds and what we can see. It takes going into the depths of our souls. It takes a trust and faith in something unseen. Ultimately, it takes an encounter.


Do you relate to the feeling God is inconveniencing you or He is opposing your actions, or even that following Him would be an uncomfortable way of life? Some of these negative feelings can keep us from drawing closer to God’s loving embrace. Let us not get hung up on these feelings. We must take the time to recognize where we stray and bring those sins to the foot of the cross to be transformed.


For Jesus promises He is near to the brokenhearted, He will respond to our cry, and He will deliver even the most afflicted. For He loves us dearly. Let us allow ourselves to experience His embrace. Let us not get caught up in the logistics of faith or the crosses we bear. Let us allow Jesus to move our hearts deeply, to go beyond the testing of our mind.


What is it going to take for you to let Him in… to transform your heart?


Jesus help me to be at peace, to quiet myself enough to accept You deep in my being. Help me to identify the things that are holding me back from truly feeling Your loving presence. Amen.

Ws 2: 1, 12-22, Ps 34: 17-21, 23; Jn 7: 1-2, 10, 25-30

Perfect Torkornoo, C ‘15


"You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."
John 39-40


In today’s reading, John is sent to proclaim the truth to the people. In John (5:36), Jesus tells the people that He has a testimony much greater than John’s testimony, but the people refuse to believe this testimony because they do not believe in the One that God has sent to them to die on the cross. The people study the scriptures and believe they will find eternal life in the them and not in the One whom God has sent to save the world. Instead of believing in Christ they seek human glory rather than God’s glory. How many times have you neglected to spend time with Jesus in prayer and adoration? I can tell you from experience I have done this many times. Sometimes I get so caught up in making sure I am doing the right things that I forget to build a relationship with Christ. Today’s reading is a good reminder that we cannot have eternal life or know the truth without believing in Christ and having a personal relationship with Him. Reading the scriptures, being kind, having good morals, and fulfilling what some will call “the Catholic requirements” do not guarantee we will have eternal life.


We will not automatically have eternal life. Our eternal life is found in His Son, who died on the cross for us. Jesus is the life, the truth, and the way. Spend some time with Jesus in daily prayer and, or adoration, and build a relationship with Him. Having a relationship with Jesus is like having a relationship with friend or a loved one; it requires time and effort.


Father, help me to seek a relationship with Your Son and to seek Your glory, so I may know Your Son is the life, the truth, and the way. Amen.

Ex 32: 7-14, Ps 106: 19-23; Jn 5: 31-47

Kate Quinn, C ‘17


"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."
John 5:24


I didn’t feel like praying. It was a cold day during Christmas break, I was sitting at home watching TV, and I did not feel like getting up to pray. I kept feeling a pull in my heart to pray the Rosary, but I ignored it with the excuse that I would pray one later. I did pray a Rosary later, but out of laziness I ignored His voice the first time (and the few times after) He called me to pray.


In John’s Gospel reading today, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life” (Jn 5:24). The first time I read the passage, I skimmed over this verse because I had heard it a thousand times before, but when reading through it a second time, the words “he who hears my word” struck me. Jesus instructs that not only must we believe in God to enter Heaven, but we must also hear Him. He speaks to us from within our hearts every moment of every day, but how often do we actually hear Him? In the first reading, the Lord instructs Isaiah to say “to the prisoners, ‘Come forth’” (Is 49:9), and in the Gospel, Jesus speaks of the hour when “all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come forth” (Jn 5:28). Let us no longer be deafened to the Lord’s voice by our sin and laziness. Let us instead make ourselves constantly aware of His presence in our hearts so we may hear Him when He calls us forth.


Holy Spirit, quiet my heart and mind today. Let me hear Your voice. How are You speaking to me? How are You calling me forth? Amen.

Is 49: 8-15, Ps 145: 8-9, 13-14, 17-18; Jn 5: 17-30

Amanda Stoddard, C ‘14


"Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
John 5:11


Today’s Gospel focuses on Jesus who went to Jerusalem for a special feast day of the Jews. While in Jerusalem, Jesus encounters a man who has been lying ill by the pool at the Sheep Gate for 38 years. Jesus asks him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up.” Then Jesus replies by telling him to pick up his mat and walk. The sick man stood up and walked away. Now later when other people saw him carrying his mat they said to him it was the Sabbath, and it unlawful to carry the mat. The man tried explaining someone cured him and told him to pick up his mat and walk. Jesus did find him later and told him not to sin anymore, for he was well. After the man told the Jews, they persecuted Jesus because he cured on a Sabbath.


Have you ever done something you know is the right thing to do, but people said you did the wrong thing? I know I have and being a volunteer EMT, I have had this situation multiple times and it never gets easier. The only way I get through it is if I know I did the right thing and I tried my hardest. Another way this could be handled is, if you think it is wrong, or you are double guessing your choice, talk to someone…a friend, priest, spiritual director, or Jesus. He is always with you; you are never alone.


Lord, please give me the grace and the faith to make the right choices in my life. Give me love to spread to the people I help. Amen.

Ez 47: 1-9,12, Ps 46: 2-3, 5-6, 8-9; Jn 5: 1-16

Gianna Tucker, C ‘16


"Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, Lord, God of truth."
Psalm 31:6


Following Christ requires we act as servant leaders and remember that we are here to do His will by radiating His love through our actions to those who do not yet know of Him and His love. Living with these goals at the forefront of everything we do is challenging to say the least, but it is important in order to bring others closer to Christ, the one who loves us best. In this time of Lent, let us do our best to remember in order to do God’s will we must be humble in all that we do. Let us recognize our own failings, forgive ourselves, ask for God’s forgiveness, and forgive others for their shortcomings. Let us be quick to love rather than quick to judge, so we might lead others closer to God through our actions of love. Let us recognize all we do cannot be accomplished through our own strength, but only with God at our side, guiding us every step of the way.


Lord, help me to know I need You in all I do, and help me to serve You in all I do. Help me to recognize how much You love me and help me to spread love to all that I meet. Amen

Jer 18: 18-20; Ps 31: 5-6, 14-16; Mt 20: 17-28

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