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Showing posts with the label Lent

The Calm Before the Storm: Holy Monday

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Yesterday, we heard the Passion of the Lord from Luke 22:14 to 23:56. With every reading of the Passion, we relive, with Jesus, His humiliation, passion and death. With today being Holy Monday, we reside in the calm before the storm of a turbulent Holy Thursday and Good Friday. So, today, might seem like any other day. Yet, it is different. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the chief priests and scribes witnessed the crowd’s love for Jesus. This appreciation for Jesus made the chief priests and scribes feel uncomfortable – to the point where they began to plot Jesus’ death. They feared the rise and adulation of Jesus would deter devout Jews from the proper worship of God. They didn’t understand who Jesus really was and saw Jesus as a mere man professing to be the Son of God. Therefore, the chief priests met with Judas to make their plans to bring about Jesus’ demise. Assess Your Calm Before the Storm During this calm before the storm, today would be a good day to assess our own lives and …

Maintaining Faithfulness to the Lenten Pledge

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Maintaining faithfulness to the Lenten pledge may not always be easy; especially when we gave up something that we truly craved – like chocolate! We go through withdrawal symptoms, feeling deprived, and we don’t like to feel that way. So, we give in and default on our Lenten pledge.  God is ever faithful to us, but because of our tendency to sin, we are not always faithful in return. Maintaining faithfulness to the Lenten pledge is a good example of where we easily fail to remain faithful. Maintaining Faithfulness is Not Trivial One might think a breakdown in faithfulness to a Lenten pledge is trivial. Yet, it might represent a microcosm of our relationship with God on a macro level. If we can’t be faithful in trivial matters, what makes us think we can be faithful with important matters? If we let a Lenten pledge slide and give it little thought, what else might we let slide? God never gives us more than we can handle. With something like a Lenten pledge, that we make to God, God gra…

Lent and Temperance Go Together

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Lent is a time to give up something we love a lot, like chocolate, or wine, as a sacrifice, in thanksgiving for what Christ sacrificed for each of us. To give up something we really love a lot requires Temperance – the ability to control one’s passions. Therefore, Lent and Temperance go together like bread and butter. You can have one without the other, but they’re much better together! Lent and Temperance We need the virtue of Temperance to live up to our sacrificial commitment, thereby giving a more meaningful purpose to the season of Lent. We are about half-way through the Lenten Season. How is your Lenten sacrifice coming along? Are you living up to your commitment? Might you have slipped a bit, or perhaps forgotten all about your Lenten sacrifice? If so, here are a few things you can do to help you get back on the right track:
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‘Neither do I condemn you.' Sunday Reflections, 5th Sunday of Lent, Year C

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FromThe Gospel of John(2003) directed by Philip Saville
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelJohn 8:1-11 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is withou…

Embrace Humility During Lent

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Lent is the perfect time to embrace humility, as it is a time when God calls us to think less of ourselves and more of others. What stands in the way of you embracing humility? Is it your pride? It was for me! Only after I learned what held me back from being the person God calls me to be, could I embrace humility. For me, I cared too much what others thought of me. I sought my validation from my friends and peers, rather than from the one true source – God. My friends and peers could never fill the hole. I needed constant validation of my self-worth. Once I realized that only God could fill the void and validate me, could I begin thinking less of myself and more about others. This happened many years ago, and I have to say that He still works on me. Every time I slip and cling to my pride, God points that out to me. He tells me to “Let go.” God continuously chisels away at my huge chunk of pride. Bit by bit, He forms me into the person that He wants me to be. Read more...

'I will get up and go to my father.' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Lent, Year C

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The Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.” So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired…

'If it bears fruit next year, well and good.' Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday of Lent, Year C

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Moses Before the Burning Bush, Domenico Fetti [Web Gallery of Art]
Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15, First Reading
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelLuke 13:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
At that very time there were some present who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’ Then he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and …