Dear Lord, send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind.
-from The Hope of Lent
"No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ." — St. Leo the Great
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"But when you keep night vigils, pray, read, and sing psalms and hymns in honor of God and His saints, or when you fast and abstain from wrong-doing, assist your neighbor, lament, mourn, and weep over your sins, confessing them and asking for forgiveness, then you perform works of the Holy Spirit. It is then that you are faithful to the rules of the religious life and walk in its spirit. It is then that you are much like the holy angels in heaven, who continually praise and bless God in song and never turn their faces from Him." — Thomas À Kempis, p. 91 AN EXCERPT FROM Bountiful Goodness
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Saint Louise De Marillac
March 15. Saint Louise de Marillac had an open heart for the poor. Along with Saint Vincent de Paul, she eventually formed what would become a religious order known as the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. By the time of her death, the community had 40 houses in France.
The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said, "Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah. It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests, nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets. And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue; let us carefully note his every word."
Heed me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say. Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life? Remember that I stood before you to speak in their behalf, to turn away your wrath from them. Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
R. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness. You will free me from the snare they set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God. R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness. I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side, as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life. R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness. But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God." In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors. R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
Verse Before the Gospel Jn 8:12
I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.
Gospel Mt 20:17-28
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, "What do you wish?" She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom." Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can." He replied, "My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
View NAB Reading at USCCB.orgSubscriber? Login to view archives 2nd Week of Lent
The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life. (Matthew 20:28)
James and John were loyal followers of Jesus. They probably would have done anything he asked. But in a sense they were also clueless about what he was really up to. Their request to sit beside him in heaven shows how their values were still influenced by the world around them, where prestige ruled the day. Their intentions were good, but they still had a lot to learn about what it meant to serve God.
It wasn't only James and John, however, who had this problem. The other disciples were angry at them, probably because they also wanted seats of honor. But Jesus didn't condemn any of them. Instead, he took the opportunity to teach them about the nature of his kingdom: whoever wants to follow him must forget about being important in the eyes of the world. The one who wants to be great must learn to be the least.
Every year at Lent, we have the opportunity to learn the same lesson. It's a chance to refocus our gaze on Christ and to sharpen our resolve to live no longer for ourselves but for him. We may come into this season a bit like James and John, wanting to get closer to God and meaning well, but still needing to learn the way of the cross. It's not bad to want to sit next to Jesus. But if we want to reign with him, we first need to learn how to "die" with him by embracing his life of trust and obedience to the Father.
At its heart, Lent is not just about fasting, saying extra prayers, or doing a host of good deeds. These are only the means to the greater end, which is coming into a deeper relationship with Jesus. Jesus fixed his eyes on the cross, and he invites us to do the same. He knows that as we do, untold blessings will flow into our lives: a sense of joy; peace in times of stress; freedom from sins; and best of all, intimacy with God. Who could have ever thought that so much good could come out of a call to serve?
"Lord, thank you for your cross! Give me the heart of a servant, always ready to do your will."
Jeremiah 18:18-20 Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16
This is spring break and on our family trip I forgot our family laptop and so and doing what is possible with my smartphone I apologize for the delay here is a reflection from Bishop Barron today:
Your daily Lenten Gospel reflection!
LENT DAY 15 Friends, in today's Gospel the mother of James and John asks Jesus on their behalf to place them in high places in his kingdom. They are asking for two of the classic four substitutes for God: wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. The two brothers specifically want the last two. Power is not, in itself, a bad thing. And the same is true of honor. Thomas Aquinas said that honor is the flag of virtue. It's a way of signaling to others something that's worth noticing.
So then what's the problem? The problem is that they are asking for these two things in the wrong spirit. The ego will want to use power, not for God's purposes or in service of truth, beauty, and goodness, but for its own aggrandizement and defense. When honor is sought for its own sake or in order to puff up the ego, it becomes dangerous as well.
What's the way out? Jesus tells us: "Whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all; whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant." When you serve others, when you become the least, you are accessing the power of God and seeking the honor of God."
I really enjoy the Reflection from word among us above. The point of all of our sacrifices is to be United closer to our lord Jesus the Christ the savior of Our Lives so let our sacrifices then be true sacrifices that are for love of Him and she grow in love with Him! Love you