Walking with Jesus to Jerusalem

Second Day of Lent

Gospel of the Day

Luke 9:22–25

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”

Remembering Our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters

Following is a video that provides an idea of the crosses that Christians in the Middle East are asked to carry with and for Jesus Christ. This Lent let us remember and support our brothers and sisters throughout the world who endure persecution for their Christian faith and hope. Let us do all we can to preserve religious liberty in our own nations. May the Lord guide our feet in the way of peace.

ACN-candle

Defeat Indifference

February 24, at 6 p.m. Rome time, the Colosseum will be lit in red in remembrance of the persecuted church. Watch the event, Hope for the Persecuted Church, at noon Eastern on EWTN. A cathedral in Aleppo and church in Mosul will also be lit in red.

Responsorial Psalm of the Day
(verses from Psalm 1)

Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Meditation from In Conversation With God, Vol 2

One of the clearest symptoms of lukewarmness having entered into a soul is precisely such an abandoning of the Cross, a contempt for little mortifications, a scorning of anything that in some way involves sacrifice and self-denial. On the other hand, to flee from the Cross is to turn one’s back on holiness and joy; because one of the fruits of the mortified soul is just this capacity to relate to God and other people, and also a profound peace, even in the midst of tribulations and external difficulties. The person who abandons mortification is inevitably ensnared by his senses and becomes incapable of any supernatural thought.

Occasionally we will meet the Cross in some great difficulty, in a serious and painful illness, in an economic disaster, in the death of a loved one. …do not forget that being with Jesus means we shall most certainly come upon his Cross. When we abandon ourselves into God’s hands, He frequently permits us to taste sorrow, loneliness, opposition, slander, defamation, and ridicule,  coming both from within and from without. This is because He wants to mould us into His image and likeness. He even tolerates our being called lunatics and our being taken for fools. (St Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, 301)

However we will normally find the Cross each day in the sort of petty annoyances that may occur at work, and which usually present themselves to us through people around us. It may be something unexpected, the difficult character of a person with whom we have to live, plans perhaps that have to be changed at the last minute, stubborn materials or instruments of work that fail us when we most need them. Discomfort, maybe caused by a cold, or heat, or noise … misunderstandings. A below-par seediness that impairs our efficiency on a particular day …

We have to accept these daily pinpricks courageously, offering them to God in a spirit of reparation without complaint. Those mortifications that crop up unexpectedly can help us, if we receive them well, to grow in the spirit of penance that we need so much, and to improve in the virtues of patience, of charity, of understanding; that is to say, in holiness. If we receive our setbacks with a bad spirit, it can cause us to rebel, or to become impatient or discouraged. Many Christians have lost their joy at the end of the day, not because of big reverses, but because they have not known how to sanctify the tiredness caused by work, or the little snags and minor frustrations which have arisen during the day. When we accept the Cross — little or great — it produces peace and joy in the midst of pain and is laden with merits for eternal life.

 

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Remember thy last end

 

Ash Wednesday

You are merciful to all, O Lord, and despise nothing that you have made. You overlook people’s sins, to bring them to repentance, and you spare them, for you are the Lord our God. (Wisdom 11:24, 25—27)

Selections from the Holy Mass

Collect for Mass

Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, you Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Old Testament Prophet: Joel 2:12–18 

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm: 51 

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Meditation from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen

Presence of God: I place myself in Your presence, O Lord; illumine with Your light the eternal truths, and awaken in my soul a sincere desire for conversion.

Meditation

1. Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return” (Gn, 3,19). These words, spoken for the first time by God to Adam after he had committed sin, are repeated today by the Church to every Christian, in order to remind him of two fundamental truths—his nothingness and the reality of death.

Dust, the ashes which the priest puts on our foreheads today, has no substance; the lightest breath will disperse it. It is a good representation of man’s nothingness: “O Lord, my substance is as nothing before Thee” (Ps 38,6), exclaims the Psalmist. Our pride, our arrogance, needs to grasp this truth, to realize that everything in us is nothing. Drawn from nothing by the creative power of God, by His infinite love which willed to communicate His being and His life to us, we cannot—because of sin—be reunited with Him for eternity without passing through the dark reality of death. The consequence and punishment of sin, death is, in itself, bitter and painful; but Jesus, who wanted to be like to us in all things, in submitting to death has given all Christians the strength to accept it out of love. Nevertheless, death exists, and we should reflect on it, not in order to distress ourselves, but to arouse ourselves to do good. “In all thy works, remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin” (Sir 7,40). The thought of death places before our eyes the vanity of earthly things, the brevity of life—”All things are passing; God alone remains”—and therefore it urges us to detach ourselves from everything, to scorn every earthly satisfaction, and to seek God alone. The thought of death makes us understand that “all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone” (Imitation of Christ, Book I, 1,4).

“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die … then there will be many things about which you care nothing” (Saint Teresa of Jesus, Maxims for her nuns, 68), that is, you will give up everything that has no eternal value. Only love and fidelity to God are of value for eternity. “In the evening of life, you will be judged on love” (John of the Cross, Spiritual Maxims 1, 57).

2. Today’s liturgy is an invitation to penance. During the imposition of ashes we chant: “Let us change our garments, and cover ourselves with sackcloth and ashes; let us fast and weep before the Lord.” It is an invitation to the corporal penance which is especially prescribed for this season; but it is immediately followed by the invitation to be converted: “Let us atone for the sins we have committed.” The end of physical mortification is spiritual penance—humility, recognition of our faults, compunction of heart, and the reform of our lives.

The Gospel (Mt 6,16–21) says further that all penance must be accomplished sincerely and joyfully, without vain ostentation, “When you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast.” Vanity and pride make even the most austere penitential practices useless and sometimes even sinful; they destroy their substance and value, and reduce them to mere externals, empty of all content. Hence when you mortify your body, take care to mortify your self-love still more.

Colloquy

If the remembrance of my infidelities torments me, I shall remember, O Lord, that “as soon as we are sorry for having offended You, You forget all our sins and malice. O truly infinite goodness! What more could one desire? Who would not blush with shame to ask so much of You? But now is the favorable time to profit from it, my merciful Savior, by accepting what You offer. You desire our friendship. Who can refuse to give it to You, who did not refuse to shed all Your blood for us by sacrificing Your life? What You ask is nothing! IT will be to our supreme advantage to grant it to You” (Saint Teresa of Jesus, Exercises, 14).

That we may rise with Christ at Easter

Meditation/Prayer in preparation for Lent
from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen

77. A New Program
Septuagesima Sunday

Presence of God: O Lord, I come to You with a keen desire to learn how to respond to Your invitations.

Meditation

1. The time of Septuagesima is somewhat like a prelude to Lent, the traditional time for spiritual reform. That is why the liturgy presents us today with a program which we must put into effect in order to bring about within ourselves a new, serious conversion, so that we may rise again with Christ at Easter. The Collect of today’s Mass, while reminding us that we are sinners, invites us to sentiments of profound humility, “to the end that we, who are justly afflicted because of our sins, may through Thy mercy, be freed from them.” The first step toward conversion always consists in humbly recognizing that we need to be converted. The lukewarm must become fervent, the fervent must reach perfection, the perfect must attain heroic virtue. Who can say that he does not need to advance in virtue and in sanctity?Each new step effects a new conversion to God, conversio ad Deum. In the Epistle (1 Cor 9,24–27 – 10,1–5) St. Paul urges us to undertake  this ceaseless spiritual labor. To reach sanctity and heavenly glory we must never tire of running and striving, as those who run in the stadium struggle and exert themselves “to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible one. I, therefore, so run … not as one beating the air,” says the Apostle, “but I chastise my body and bring it into subjection!” This is the first point in the program: a generous struggle to overcome ourselves, to conquer evil and achieve goodness; denial of self by humility; denial of the body by physical mortification. Only those who struggle and exert themselves will win the prize. Therefore let us also run in such a way as to obtain the reward.

2. The Gospel (MT 20,1–16) gives us the second part of the program for this liturgical season: not to remain idle, but to labor assiduously in the Lord’s vineyard. The first vine to be cultivated is our own soul. God comes to meet us with His grace, but He does not will to sanctify us without our cooperation. On this Sunday the great invitation to sanctity is repeated to every soul. God in His love seeks out His scattered, idle children and gently reprimands them: “Why stand you here idle?” St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi says that “God calls us at various times, because creatures differ in state. In this variety we see God’s greatness and benignity, which never fail to call us by means His divine inspirations, in no matter what stage or situation we may be.” Blessed are those who, ever since their youth have always heard and followed the divine invitation! But each hour is God’s hour; and He passes by and calls us, even to the very last hour. What a consolation, and at the same time what an incentive to respond at last the Lord’s appeal: “Today if you shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts!” (Ps 94,8).

In addition to the vineyard of our soul, we must also consider the vineyard of the Church, where so many souls are waiting to be won to Christ. No one can consider himself dispensed from thinking of the welfare of others. However lowly our place in the Mystical Body of Christ, we are all members of it; consequently, each one of us must work for the welfare of others. It is possible for everyone to carry on an efficacious apostolate by example, prayer, and sacrifice. If, up to now, we have done but little, let us listen today to the words of Jesus: “Go you also into My vineyard.” Let us go and embrace generously the work which the Lord offers us; let us consider nothing too difficult when there is question of winning souls.

Colloquy

Bless, O Lord, this new liturgical season which opens today. By penetrating its spirit may I be disposed, with Your aid, for a serious reform of my spiritual life. Grant me sincere humility that I may know my misery and see myself as I am in Your eyes, free form those false lights which arise from self-love, deceiving me and leading me to think I am better than I am. If I wish to consider my wretchedness at Your feet, it is by no means in order to become discouraged: “In my trouble I call upon You, my God, and from Your holy temple, You hear my prayer. … You are my strength, O Lord, my support, my refuge, my Redeemer. You are my help in time of trouble. He who knows You, hopes in You, for You do not abandon the one who seeks You. From the depths of the abyss, I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice. If You will mark our iniquities, O Lord, who can stand it? But with You there is mercy, and by reason of Your law, I trust in You, O Lord!” (Mass of the day).

Infuse into me, O Jesus, new strength to take up more eagerly the course which will lead me to win the incorruptible crown of sanctity. “And since nature opposes what is good, I promise to declare a merciless ware against myself. My weapons for the battle will be prayer, the practice of the presence of God, and silence. But, O my Love, You know that I am not skilled in handling these arms. Nevertheless, I will arm myself with sovereign confidence in You, with patience, humility, conformity to Your divine will, and supreme diligence. But where shall I find the aid I need to fight against so many enemies in such a continual battle? Ah! I know! You, my God, proclaim Yourself my Captain, and raising the standard of Your Cross, You lovingly say, ‘Come, follow Me; do not fear” (St Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus).

O my Lord, I will no longer resist Your invitation. May today sound for me the decisive hour of a response filled with generosity and perseverance. You call me. Here I am. I come to Your vineyard, O Lord, but if You are not with me to sustain me in my work, I shall accomplish nothing. O You who invite me, help me to do what You ask of me.

Take away the stone

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Question of the Day

Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?

God Helps in the Place of Affliction

How confused and hurt Martha and Mary must have been when they sent word to Jesus that “the one you love is ill,” and he did not come. He was two miles away. Another day passes and Lazarus dies. The grieving begins, and still Jesus has not come. They knew Jesus’ miracles first-hand. They believed he was the long awaited Messiah. They knew his love first-hand, and now they experience his physical absence in their greatest need.

Jesus waits. He waits two more days after hearing the news. God’s timing and plans challenge our faith. He waits so that we may behold the glory of God and the triumph of God’s love for us—for all of us, not just Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.

When Jesus does come, Martha confesses her belief in the resurrection, that she knows her brother will rise again. But the new life Jesus has for us is not just eternal life, but also the new life that begins at baptism and confirmation. The reading from Romans today is clear that the spirit of Christ dwelling in us is a source of life for the here and now.

The name Lazarus means “God is my help” and Bethany means “house of misery or poor house.” Lazarus represents all people who are dead in sin. When Jesus wept, it was for all humanity. In raising Lazarus, Jesus demonstrates that he has come to set each one of us free from slavery to sin and to raise us to new life.

Scriptures of the Day

Old Testament: Ezekial 37:12–14

Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Psalm: 130:1–8

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.

I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the LORD.

For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.

New Testament: Romans 8:8–11

Brothers and sisters:
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.

Gospel: John 11:1–45

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
So the sisters sent word to him saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
when Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“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?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
“The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

Mini Homily: Our God turns darkness into light, sin into forgiveness, and death into life

More Questions of the Day

  • What stone in your life needs to be rolled away?
  • Do you desire to be made new?
  • In our suffering, and the seeming absence of love, will we trust that God is working out his plan, and that he can bring a much greater good than our own minds and plans can imagine out of what seems like hopeless situations?

Prayer of the Day

Jesus, I trust in you.

They forgot the God that saved them

The Importance of Remembering

We are no different than the Jews we meet in the Old Testament reading today. God’s people have grown impatient waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain. They abandon the one true God and quickly turn to false gods. American culture is full of false gods (youth health, sports, sex (or any kind of pleasure), money, power, self/individualism, education, skills, productivity, and convenience to name a few). Lent is a time to recognize and root out the sin that has infested our lives and to return to the one true living God.

Reading scripture helps us remember who God is and all he has done. Psalm 106 invites us to praise God and speaks of God’s mercy. Verse 6 explicitly states that we are sinners, too, just like the Jews who worshiped the golden calf: “we have sinned like our ancestors; we have done wrong and are guilty.”

Our sin and guilt are not the end of the story. We must also remember that through Moses’ intercessory prayer, God abandons his plans, in his Justice, to punish the evil the people have done. The Old Testament, however, is only part of the story.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus reveals who he is: God’s only begotten Son, sent into the world to do the work of God (which is the work of saving us). The Old Testament scriptures speak of Him, yet the Jews do not believe. It is important to remember who God is and all he has done—for all of humanity, and also specifically in our own lives.

Scriptures of the Day

Old Testament: Exodus 32:7–14

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'”
The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Psalm: 106:19–20, 21–22, 23

Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.

They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.

Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.

Gospel: John 5:31–47

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

Questions of the Day

  • God’s people adored a molten calf. What do you adore?
  • Have you forgotten all that God has done for you?
  • How do you do remember God? Do you have set times of prayer each day when you speak to God and listen to his voice?
  • Do you consistently seek God by reading scripture?
  • Do you intercede and plead for God’s mercy on our sinful culture?
  • Do you rejoice in the light of the world?
  • Does God’s word remain in you, or have your false gods blotted it out?
  • Do you seek praise from people or from God?
  • Do you believe Jesus’ words? Will you go to him to have life?

 

Think like a saint, like a champion

Lenten Questions
from Matthew Kelly, Dynamic Catholic

  • Are you wasting life? And are you comfortable wasting your life?
  • How many Sundays do you have left?
  • Do you know anyone in your life who has said “I’m fed up. I’m dissatisfied.” and gone on a radically different path?
  • Do you think about how short life is and how long eternity is?
  • Do we think about heaven? eternity?
  • Do we think about what moments in our life make the difference between what matters most and what matters least?
  • How will we see life differently when we are on the other side?
  • How will we regret the moments we’ve wasted?

Watch Matthew Kelly’s Lenten Video Reflection for March 25

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And why do I think about these things?

My father died when he was 35 years old. He had a massive heart attack that killed him instantly. I was a few weeks away from turning nine, and my sister had just turned eleven. For years the question that plagued me was “did he do all that God had for him in this life?” I don’t remember when I stopped asking that question, but I do know it has been several years now.

What made me stop was not that I had an answer, but, I believe, that my trust in God increased through my spiritual development. My focus shifted from the weight of my (many) questions that would always remain unanswered to living in God’s presence and doing his will in the moment. Not that I always succeed in such a grand endeavor, but the attempt alone supersedes all. Knowing that I can trust God to accomplish the good work he has begun in me, I can also entrust to him my family, friends, and strangers on the street—their beginnings and endings and everything in between, as God has promised to turn everything to good for those who love him.

Some questions I would add to Michael Kelly’s are as follows:

  • What gifts has God given you?
  • How are you investing those gifts for the kingdom of God?
  • Have you sent materials to heaven for your eternal mansion?
  • Are you mostly focused on the building and maintenance of your temporal house?