Skip Navigation
 
 

Lenten Reflections Logo

Daily Reflections for Lent

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

MONDAY 3RD WEEK
Megan Elliot, FOCUS Missionary

 

"Truly I tell you,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his hometown."
Luke 4:24

 

There is a mutual longing -He thirsts for us, we thirst for Him - but we prideful humans often try to establish the ground rules for the Almighty. We have expectations of God and His role in our world

 

Naaman’s pride almost keeps him in his suffering state, unwilling to bend to the call of God to wash in the Jordan. Why won’t the prophet Elisha even speak with him face-to-face? Perhaps Elisha knew that Naaman must learn - as we all must learn - to trust in the word of God alone. When he listens to God, he is healed. When he drops his preconceived notions, he finds himself a part of a miracle, on God’s terms, of course.

 

In the Gospel passage, Jesus cannot live up to the people’s expectations of a prophet, let alone the Messiah. He tells the people of Nazareth, “no prophet is accepted in his own native place,” seemingly excluding them. Regardless of Jesus’ legitimacy, they prepare to kill Him; they want a prophet on their own terms, for their own people. Jesus slips away to reveal the truth of the Kingdom to those who will accept it.

 

The Psalmist has it right. Though he desperately yearns to “behold the face of God,” he trusts in God’s plan. Despite his suffering, he is still and waits for the Lord to reveal His glorious plan:

 

Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.

 

Help me, O Lord, to cast aside my preconceived notions of how You will work in my life. I bring to You the leprosy of my soul, to be cleansed in the waters of the Jordan. Help me to marvel at Your goodness, Your truth, and Your beauty, revealed through our Lord, Jesus Christ, the living water which ceaselessly satisfies, for whom my soul ceaselessly yearns. Amen.

2 Kgs 5: 1-15, Ps 42: 2-3, 43: 3-4; Lk 4: 24-30

3RD SUNDAY OF LENT
Alyse Spiehler, C '17

 

"Let us come before him with a song of praise, joyfully sing out our psalms."

 

Let us rejoice in our Lord! The readings for today show reasons for rejoicing in God's marvelous deeds. In the reading from Exodus (17:3-7), God saves Moses and miraculously provides the much needed water for His people living in the desert. Again, in the Gospel from John (4: 5-42), Jesus gives hope to an otherwise hopeless woman. She was an outcast in society, a sinner. Jesus knew these things and spoke to her all the same. He revealed to her the good news of the Gospel: that He was here to save, to bring water which wells up to eternal life (Jn 4: 14).

 

There are so, so many times when I feel that I am beyond God's reach. Even though I "know" He is merciful and mighty, it seems too good to be true, or too good to believe. The readings from Exodus and John remind me that no one, not a woman in great sin, or even an entire tribe of thirsty people in the desert, can escape God's plentiful love and amazing gifts! Our God is love. His love is boundless. Like the Samaritan woman at the well, Christ seeks us and reminds us of His fidelity. How can I not rejoice in Him? How can I not, like the woman at the well, go out and proclaim His great deeds for me? The good news of Christ is for everyone and it is especially needed by those in dire situations; for those people, and for all of us, the help of the Lord is more precious than running water. Our God does not fail to pour His gifts upon me, upon us. Rejoice!

 

Lord, help me to rejoice in You always, especially when times are difficult. Amen.

Ex 17: 3-7, Ps 95: 1-2, 6-9, Rom 5: 1-2, 5-8; Jn 4: 5-42

SATURDAY 2ND WEEK
Nicole Michur, C ‘15

 

"Who is there like you? The God who will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins."
Micah 7:18-19

 

Lent is as much a time for renewal and hope as it is for sacrifice and meditation on the Lord’s passion and death. It is a time made dark only because of the light and radiance of Christ’s Resurrection at the end of these forty days. Lent is a period when we should prepare for Christ’s victory over death and the reason we all can come into the fullness of life in Heaven; we can now accomplish the goal for which we were created. For most of us at one time or another, this purpose seems utterly unattainable, we think we’re not worthy, not good enough; our sins have irreparably damaged our relationship with God. But Lent is not all about darkness; it is also about the light that shines through despite the shadows. Micah (7:18-20) shows us God is forgiving and our sins are not permanent: the Lord does not “persist in anger, but treads underfoot guilt and pardons sins.” And God has promised to show faithfulness in this to all of you, every single person. No matter what. Because of this, at Easter time, rejoice even more and be glad that you have been forgiven and you can never get to a point of no return. God has promised Himself to you, and He is enough, everything you need. This Lent, take comfort in Jesus’ sorrows and know that even in your deepest despair, you are not alone, for the Lord always provides.

 

Dear Lord, help me to know your forgiving grace, and in times of need, s how Yourself and all of Your gifts to me, that I might come to realize Your presence in my life and how blessed I am. Amen.

Mi 7: 14-15, 18-20, Ps 103: 1-4, 9-12; Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32

FRIDAY 2ND WEEK
Pia Saldarriaga, C ‘16

 

"I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled."
Luke 1:38

 

When we were little, we were taught to share. “Let your brother borrow your toy while you play with another one,” or “let her have a turn.” But it was never that easy. At least not in the beginning. You see, this feeling is similar when we’re faced with giving the Lord our most valuable possession: ourselves. God created us so we could give ourselves back to Him, but He made it a choice because He wants us to desire Him like He does us. So are we sacrificing our will for His? Think about the last time it was difficult to do God’s will in our life, but did it anyway. Does it happen often? Give yourself to Him, so that He may give back to you. Share with Him, so He may share with you.

 

Father, grant me the grace to give myself to You in full. Help me remember I do not belong to myself and that Your plan for me is infinitely better than anything I may have planned. Amen.

Is 7: 10-14, 8-10, Ps 40: 7-11, Heb 10: 4-10; Lk 1:26-38

 
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road | Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Map & Directions | admissions@msmary.edu | 301-447-6122
Frederick Campus | 5350 Spectrum Drive | Frederick, MD 21703
Map & Directions | inquiry@msmary.edu | 301-682-8315