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Daily Reflections for Lent

THURSDAY 4TH WEEK
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

WEDNESDAY 4TH WEEK
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

TUESDAY 4TH WEEK
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

MONDAY 4TH WEEK
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

4TH SUNDAY OF LENT
Carolyn Shields, C '14

 

"I will fear no evil."
Psalm 23:4

 

There are certain Gospels or Bible passages I sigh at when we hear them at mass, or when we go over them in Bible study. Ones like the Creation story, the Prodigal Son, Psalm 23; ones we have heard a trillion times... but scripture is so infinitely rich and I'm continually shocked at how much spiritual juice we can squeeze out of it. Our reading today tells us in Psalm 23:4 that even though we may find ourselves in dark valleys, we should not be afraid. Can you imagine a life without fear? Fear is so crippling and prohibits us from living fully, as Christ wants us to live. But there is no need to fear the evil in the dark, for He is beside us, "with his rod and staff." He cloaks our own darkened shadows with His "goodness and love" which will follow us all the days of our life. What have we to fear when we walk alongside Him?

 

Lord, I entrust to You all of my fears, anxieties, and worries. I lay them down and offer them up. I know You go before me, that You guide me, and You walk beside me. And I pray, never leave me. Amen.

1 Sm 16: 1, 6-7, 10-13, Ps 23: 1-6, Eph 5: 8-14; Jn 9: 1-14

SATURDAY 3RD WEEK
Vicente Garcia, C '17

 

"Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense."

Psalm 51: 3

 

Sometimes we might think, "I am doing many good things, unlike other people I know (and even unlike myself in the past). What could I possibly have done to offend You, Lord?" And yet remember that one time…in that one place… God loves it when we recognize that the only remedy to our own sinful nature is through His mercy. A central idea to Lent is recognizing our constant struggle with sin and thus our need for God's mercy. What a great blessing it is to have an abundance of graces flowing from heaven; yet what a great sacrifice it was through Jesus' crucifixion to open the floodgates. With this in mind, let us remember our loving Father wants to shower His mercy on us "like spring rains watering the earth," and all we have to do is say, "Lord, I am a sinner. I am imperfect. I'm sorry for those times, past and present, when I have given in to temptation." Then open your heart. Take a chance and trust. Encounter Christ's sacrificial love in the sacraments.

 

Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your loving mercy which has redeemed us from the eternal fire. Holy Spirit, help me to open my heart and to trust in God. Thank you, Jesus, for being with me at all times. Amen.

Hos 6: 1-6; Ps 51:3-4 & 18-21; Lk 18: 9-14

FRIDAY 3RD WEEK
Victoria Nikole Blandon, C '16

 

"Straight are the paths of The Lord, the just walk in them, but sinners stumble in them."
Hosea 14:10b

 

In today's readings there is a general theme that stood out to me: the path of the Lord. God has put a path ahead of us that will lead us to Him. We are on this path until we reach Heaven. There may be times where we may stumble on this path due to the distraction of sin. Though we may stumble, the Lord will never abandon us. He will help us up when we fall; He will take us by the hand and lead us in the right direction. He has done it before so we can trust He will do it again, for all God wants is for us to love Him as much as He loves us. For this reason He will never misguide us. If we trust Him with all of our hearts, it will be easier to navigate away from sin and instead, toward heaven.

 

Lord, please allow me to stay focused on Your path. Give me the strength to never fall away from You for I trust that You will never lead me astray. Amen.

Hos 14: 2-10; Ps 81: 6-11, 14, 17; Mk 12: 28-34

THURSDAY 3RD WEEK
Karly Sites, C ‘16

 

"He who is not with me is against me."
Luke 11:23

 

Our first reading from the Book of Jeremiah demonstrates to us how God gives us the choice to obey him. God speaks to us in a variety of ways; through meditations, music, readings, and relationships. Listen for the Lord speaking to you and upon hearing His command; obey Him. We must reflect upon our lives. Are we stubborn to the Lord? Do we, by the actions, the words, and the choices we make, show we choose God’s kingdom or Satan’s kingdom? Do we listen to the evil inclinations of the devil and not the unending joyful promises of the Lord? Jesus allows us to choose His love, He does not force us and so we must remember if we walk in the ways He commands, He promises “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” (Rom 8: 28).

 

In our Gospel reading from Luke, we learn how to be strong against the whispers of the Evil One. In this Gospel, Jesus cast out evil spirits and this casting brought many mixed reactions from the onlookers. The crowd tested Jesus and His power and even claimed His work could only be done through the power of Satan. But did these accusations cause Jesus to stop doing good? No, of course not! Jesus shows us living out the truth is not always easy. Sometimes we may be tested; promises may be broken, friendships may be lost, and mocking may be brought upon us. Yet, we must remember that if we believe in God and believe in His promises we know He will be with us through-out this journey of life. From this Gospel, we learn faith may not always seem easy, but the graces God bestows upon us to overcome these struggles are worth more than anything of this world.

 

Dear Lord, open our ears to Your voice. Help us to love and lead all to Your heavenly kingdom. Amen.

Jer 7:23-28, Ps 95: 1-2, 6-7 , 8-9; Lk 11: 14-23

WEDNESDAY 3RD WEEK
Mike Herlihey, C ‘16

 

"Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5: 19

 

In this passage, Jesus warns the Jews to not lead others astray by not keeping the commandments the as they were given. This applies to the Catholic Church today. Many people believe the Catholic Church is old fashioned and needs to get with the times. They say she needs to modernize and change some of her teachings.

 

The truth is, the Catholic Church calls us to live a very different lifestyle than the “modernized” world. It is a radical life. There must be no shame in this for Jesus lived a radical lifestyle. It makes sense the Catholic Church is radical because Jesus started the Catholic Church when He appointed Peter as the first Pope and sent him forth to preach to the nations. Jesus instituted the teachings of the Catholic Church. The verse mentioned above comes right after Jesus has given the Jews the Beatitudes in Matthew (5: 3-11). The beatitudes were a revolutionary way of living.

 

So what does that mean for us as Catholics this coming Easter? Jesus came to this earth to bring salvation which He entrusted to the Catholic Church. Jesus revealed truths we must follow and live out. Relaxing even the least of Jesus’ commandments and teaching others to do so is a sin, that has eternal consequences. However, Jesus came and died for us so that our sins may be forgiven.

 

Father, help us to live “radically” for You. Lead us in the way You want us to live, following Jesus as our model. Amen.

Dt 4: 1, 5-9; Ps 147: 12-13, 25-16, 19-20; Mt 5: 17-19

SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION
Brendan Johnson, Campus Ministry Associate

 

"And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace one! The Lord is with you."
Luke 1:29

 

“The Lord is with you.” These are the words that Gabriel says to Mary when he greets her. I’ve been in awe of these words because the Lord is with her even before Emmanuel, “God with us,” is conceived in her womb. The Father was present to Mary before, during, and after she gave her “fiat,” her “let it be.” What a great comfort! Mary didn’t have to decide alone, or without preparation. The Father was with His daughter, loving her and caring for her so she would have the strength to be the Mother of God when the time came.

 

Just like our mother Mary, we are bombarded with decisions that have to be made. Some looming on the horizon, some distant from our minds and worries. But they are there and I know I’ve found myself lost in indecision. What should I do? Will I do the right thing? Did I do the right thing? I don’t always know. But I do know the Lord, the Father, is with me. He loves me, and cares for me, and has prepared me for the present moment. The Father loves you, and cares for you, and has prepared you for the present moment.

 

The Father is with us, even before we make the decision to follow what He asks of us, and prepared for us. He prepares us and cares for us so that we can accept what He has prepared. Be with Him, because the Father is with you, and desires to be closer to you. If we let Him in He can prepare us even more for the joy He has planned.

 

The Lord is with you.

 

Father, You are with me, be closer to me and help me to let You into my life daily so I can welcome You in everything You have prepared for me. Amen.

Is 7: 10-14, 8: 10, Ps 40: 7-11; Lk 1: 26-38

 
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