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Daily Reflections for Lent

Wednesday, 3rd Week of Lent                   March 11th
Prof. Elizabeth Monahan
Dir. Center for Catholic School Excellence


The Law Of God Is Truth

“He declares His word to Jacob,
His statutes and ordinances to Israel.” Ps 147:19


God’s love for each of us is expressed in the covenant and may be applied to all who live the Gospel of the Lord. We are bound by God’s law to examine all that is fundamentally right and wrong in the world we inhabit. It is our duty to observe and obey the law of God and impart that wisdom on our children. “Take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”

The Law of God is truth and is intended to save human-kind. Our salvation occurred through His expression of the Word made flesh in our savior Jesus Christ. “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.” (Mt 5: 19) The essence of God’s law, the commandments, are a way of life and must be fulfilled. We are not meant to obey them in a punitive manner, but instead we obey God’s laws as an extension of our faith. We obey so that we may lead a vibrant and robust Christian life.

Lord Jesus, in the midst of the busy days which crowd upon us with their increasing demands, grant unto us the good words and deeds according to Your Father’s law so that we may embrace Your permanent presence in our daily interactions. We ask this in Your name, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, 2nd Week of Lent                             March 5th

Michael McClatchy C ‘18

                                                                                                                               

Those Who Have And Those Who Have Not    

                                                                                         

“Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.” Lk 16: 25 

 

 

Throughout our lives, we’ve always been told to be thankful for what we have. But think for a second: what happens if we become too thankful? In other words, what happens when we become too attached to our material possessions and forget what is truly important in our lives? Many religions, from Hinduism to Buddhism to Catholicism stress the importance of separating ourselves from the chains of material obsession. In this passage, the rich man is too wrapped up in his own possessions that he neglects to give even table scraps to Lazarus, who was quite literally right outside his house. How often are we caught in the same trap? A popular saying in my family is “you can’t take it with you when you die,” and that is true. God has no concern about how much or how little we have when we die. What He does care about is what we do with what we are given. Lent is a perfect time to reflect on this matter, as it is a time of self-denial and fasting, but it is not the only time. It only takes a few minutes and a few dollars to write a check to a charity, or buy a homeless person something as small as a sandwich. So why don’t we do it? It is one of the most important questions to answer on the big old test we call life. And when God is grading it, you definitely want to give it your all.

 

“Lord, help me look beyond the fog of materialism, and help me to truly give all I can to those who have nothing. Amen.”

Wednesday 2nd Week of Lent                                                 March 4th

Dr. Paige Hochschild
Asst. Professor of Theology

                                                                                                                              

    Lord, Let Our Eyes Be Opened 

                                                                                                 

“It shall not be so among you...” Mt 20:26

 

   Before Jesus and his disciples enter Jerusalem (in Ch. 21), the Gospel of Matthew offers a parable of divine generosity in Ch. 20, in which all those who labor in the kingdom receive the same reward (v. 1-16).  The gifts that God gives arise from a generosity  we can neither comprehend nor manipulate. 

 

   The disciples do not cower at another prediction of the  Passion to come (v. 17-19); instead, Jesus is asked to secure a place of authority for certain of His disciples.  He responds like a servant would respond: that gift is “not mine to grant.”  He does not rebuke them directly, suggesting instead their lack of understanding about His mission in Jerusalem.  Why can He not grant them this thing?  Immediately afterward, two blind men call upon Jesus in His kingly aspect, “Son of David! have mercy on us!”  Surely Jesus can give what He wishes to give!  The blind men want to see—literally, spiritually, and indeed when they see Jesus, they follow Him immediately.  More than this, however, they ask for mercy from the One they recognize as the Lord of the cosmos and of all human history.  The blind are not misled by the appearances of worldly authority. They see what is truly divine and truly powerful in the One who goes to the Cross as a servant of the will of Father, and a servant of the good of His people.
 

   Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us. Amen.

Tuesday, 3rd Week of Lent                                                    March 10th

David Cupps C ‘15

 

Eyes Of Mercy    

                                                                                                                                                                     

“Lord how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? And Jesus said  to him ‘I do not say to you seven times; but seventy times seven.’ ” Mt 18:21-22 

 

All three of the readings for today have to do with the same theme, and that is mercy. In the first reading from the book of Daniel we hear the prayer of Azariah (Abednego), who is in the fiery furnace with Shadrach and Meshach (Hananiah and Mishael).  In his prayer and praise of God, Azariah calls out to God,asking Him to remember the covenant made with Abraham and to have mercy on them. The request made in the Psalm for  today is very similar to this as well. The Psalmist asks God to look on him with eyes of love, and not remember the errors of his past.

 

Just like the first reading and the Psalm, the Gospel from the book of Matthew for today has a lot to do with mercy. This is a very well-known Gospel passage which talks about how we as humans must act to receive the mercy that is being sought. In this parable Jesus’s message is very clear… treat others with the same mercy that you desire from God. Jesus clearly tells us in the Gospel that unless we forgive others and show them mercy, God will not forgive us or show us mercy.

 

With this in mind let us spend time today in prayer reflecting on this topic of mercy and ask God to give us the graces that we need to look at others with the same eyes of love and mercy with which He looks upon us.

 

 Lord, help me look on everyone I meet today with eyes of love and mercy, and to look upon them the way You look at me. Amen.

Monday, 3rd Week of Lent                                                      March 9th

Devin McCarthy C ‘16

 

Even The Strongest Need Humility   

                                                                                               

“If the prophet had commanded you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much rather than when He says to you, ‘wash and be clean.’” 2Kg 5:13 

 

During the Lenten season, we give up material things; however, we need to further challenge ourselves within our faith lives and give up something that is not physical.  This thing we carry around with us every day, it is our pride. To let go of this deadly sin we must humbly open our hearts to the Lord and allow Him to do His will with us. To bring humility into our hearts is what today’s readings are calling us toward. In the reading from Second Kings, Naaman was reluctant to make himself vulnerable to the healing works of the Lord.  Who wouldn’t be, though? Naaman was a man afflicted with leprosy, but he did not let that stop him from being a respected military leader.  Imagine yourself in a position of leadership and ill with a debilitating disease.  You would have to maintain a figure of strength, in a time of personal deterioration.  My grandfather is a current example of this. He was diagnosed with cancer over a year ago.  As the patriarch of the family, he had to maintain an exterior of strength while his body was fighting against him. Because he is a man of faith, he humbled himself to the Lord’s plans.  He sought help from his family members and received a cushion as he began to undergo his fight with cancer.  It is truly a blessing that he is still alive, and he recognized that he could not do anything with God. We must allow the Lord to enter us so we may become vessels to His will.

 

Lord grant me the humility to recognize that I can do nothing without You. My thoughts, my words, my actions all are through You. Amen.

 

3rd Sunday of Lent                                                               March 8th

Dr. Angela Mucci                                      

Asst. Professor of Education

                                                    

 I Am Yours      

                                                                        

“For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God.”  Ex 20:5  

                                                                                               

Oh, how the Lord longs to draw us closer to Him. He waits and waits for us to enter into an intimate relationship with Him where we rejoice that “the law of the Lord is perfect.” (Ps 19:8). This allows us to obtain the graces to do His Holy will while refreshing our souls to lead us closer to Him. Oh, may this divine intimacy with Him be bestowed upon those who follow His precepts and rejoice in humble obedience to His commands.

 

To enter into this intimate relationship with You, I must surrender all that I am and seek You in mind, body, and spirit. I must dismiss all that is not of You and seek that which is of You. In obedience to Your commands, I learn how to become weak, and my love for You, dear Lord, deepens. I must understand that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1 Cor. 1:25)Therefore, I must seek You with a childlike spirit, open to Your divine grace, mercy, and love. How You rejoice in little ones who seek You! It is in this weakness, You lead me to the desert where You seek to make me strong. There, I find the sweetness of obedience to Your commands where You strengthen me. In this, You draw me closer in order to school me in Your ways. Once I have learned Your ways, they are all I seek—“more desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb” (Ps 19:11)—as they draw me closer and closer to You, my beloved. Once I have drawn to You, my beloved, may I never be separated from You; for I am Yours.

 

During this Lenten season, may we take the opportunity to enter into the desert of our souls to seek Him more intimately; He who longs to unite Himself to us. May we be open to His graces and rejoice in His precepts. In joyful obedience, may we fulfill that which the Lord, individually, asks of us. Thank you, Mary, from whom the fruit of obedience unites  us to Your son. Amen.

Saturday, 2nd Week of Lent                                                    March 7th

Alyse Spiehler C ‘17

 

Forgiven, Not Forgotten   

                                                                                               

“Who is there like You, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin.” Mi 7:18

 

It’s not hard to find the common thread that runs through today’s readings. Just in case you haven’t caught it, the responsorial Psalm’s refrain gives it away: “The Lord is kind and merciful.” (Ps 103:8) Each reading highlights God’s forgiveness toward his children, that is, toward each of us. He doesn’t “kind of” forgive us, He casts all of our sins into the “depths of the sea”; He tears them as far from us as the “east is from the west.” (Mi 7:19, Ps 103:12)  Just as God loves us unconditionally, He forgives us in equal measure. The parable in the Gospel today also exemplifies this unending mercy in one of Christ’s best known stories, that of the prodigal son.

 

The story in Luke’s Gospel has the rebellious-young-man feel that plenty of contemporary films speak to— think Disney                      channel movie set in first century Holy Land. This well-known story puts into words the incredible love that God the Father has for all of His children, whether they be the prodigal son, or the obedient yet selfish “perfect child.” Even if we go and squander each and every one of the gifts God has given us, dishonor His name by our bad actions, and take up a filthy job to cover up our past, He will be lovingly waiting for us to return. The father sees his son from “a long way off,” as he was waiting for him to return (Lk 15:20). Instead of saying “forget you,” as his son rightly deserved, he remembers him and loves him. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, and nothing is too big to be  forgiven. During this time in Lent, we are asked to look at our own lives so that we can be conformed to the will of God. It is important, though, that even when we find some areas in great need of repair, we remember God’s unending mercy. God’s word from today helps us to do just that.

 

Lord, help me to know and to accept Your forgiveness no matter what I’ve done in the past. Help me to move into the future with the knowledge of Your mercy always with me. Amen.

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