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Showing posts with the label Lent

Trying to Grasp What It All Means

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I am writing this on the morning of Good Friday so I am in the throes of feeling the grief at Jesus being betrayed and left by his disciples to die on the cross. I am feeling the hatred that He must have felt during the Way of the Cross. I am feeling lonely, rejected, and just downright sad.
Continue reading here.


Seder Meals Are Not Catholic Practice

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During a past Lent, I shared a seemingly innocuous and informative post about the Jewish practice of Seder during Passover. The resulting confusion and charges of antisemitism bewildered me. The catalyst? A video, Seder Meals violate the First Commandment, from the blog of a priest.
Strong Reactions Below are some of the questions posed by readers the next day:

“This post only breeds anti-Jewish thinking and does not allow Catholics to ponder the roots of our faith, the richness of our heritage. Jesus longed to eat this meal with us and Judas did not participate at all, which tells us something.”

“I think if you are of Jewish heritage then it is not sinful to celebrate the Passover.”

“I’m confused. I grew up with a Jewish mother and a Christian father. We celebrated everything. Christmas and Hanukkah as well as occasionally Passover (it’s a lot harder to pull off successfully, so we didn’t do it every year). I was technically Jewish before I was baptized 5 years ago. I still like keepi…

Lent, Light and the Birthing of a Child

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2 Votes
Lent. We tend to think of Advent as a time of joyful anticipation and Lent as a dismal period of sackcloth and ashes. How ridiculous. We are preparing to celebrate THE most joyful event in the history of humanity, the death and resurrection of our Saviour. Lent is the most joyful, light-filled season for me because I empty myself so that I might die and rise with Christ in triumphant glory. The darkness of my sin, the sin of others or the sin of the world is not a malignant force as much as it is simply the absence of light. The light of just one candle banishes darkness. continue reading

'Sir, we wish to see Jesus.' Sunday Reflections, Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year B

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Sheaves of Wheat, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24).

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel John 12:20-33 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Edition)

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for …

'For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works . . .' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Lent, Year B

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From The Gospel of John(2003) directed by Philip Saville [Today's Gospel ends at 3:10]

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelJohn 3:14-21 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world…

'I want my life, my character, my actions to speak of me and say that I am following Jesus Christ.' Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B

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Year B Christ Driving the Money-changers from the Temple 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)
GospelJohn 2:13-25 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destro…

'I just want a place at the feet of Jesus.' Sunday Reflections, 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year B'

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Transfiguration, Blessed Fra Angelico [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Mark 9:2-10 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Edition)

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
As they we…

Lent: Not Doing Too Much

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Quite a bit happened this week.

We started Lent's 40-day stay with our Lord in the desert. Not literally. That's mentioned in today's Gospel: Mark 1:12-15. I've talked about deserts and Deuteronomy, penance and porridge, before. (February 11, 2018; February 26, 2017)

There's a more technical — and more useful, probably — discussion in Catechism of the Catholic Church 538-540....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Series on Lent pt. 2: What Do You Desire?

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A Huge Oopsie

The other day, after picking my oldest up from her volleyball practice (she joined the team last week and will begin competing in games in the near future),  I let the kids play in water outside because despite being February, we had the rare 70 degree day.  They were squirting the hose, and playing and laughing.  I put Conrad down for his nap, checked my iPhone, then went outside, to find no one in the backyard.  I called for Annabel (the toddler) but she was nowhere to be found.

I looked in the front yard first, then ran upstairs and asked Molly and Frances where Annabel (and Anders and Madeleine) were.

read the rest at tacywilliamsbeck.com

'Their blood confesses Christ.' Sunday Reflections, First Sunday of Lent, Year B

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The Temptation of Christ, Tintoretto [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Gospel Mark 1:12-15 (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
The Spirit immediately drove Jesus out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
Ordination of Columban to the Priesthood
Please pray for the Reverend Erl Dylan J. Tabaco who will be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday 17 February in Holy Rosary Parish, Agusan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, where Columbans worked for many years. May the Lord grant him many fruitful years as a Columban missionary priest.
Respons…

Three Things Are Necessary ... (A Series on Lent, Part One)

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Three Questions

"Three things are necessary for man's salvation," said Thomas Aquinas, "to know what he ought to believe, to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do."

In this three part series, during Lent, I am going to take apart this quote from Aquinas. In this quote, he begs the question.... actually three questions.

What do you believe?

What do you desire?

What do you do?

These are the three essential questions for faith and for salvation.  Aquinas said it: it must be true!  :0)

This year during the season of Lent, this will be the focus of my conversations. I am going to start that conversation here, with part one on my blog!


Let's Talk About Lent

And before we get into that question, I want to discuss Lent for just a minute.  I remember in years past, I heard about a girl who was going to give up creamer in her coffee for Lent. However, it was too tough for her, but she still wanted to honor God by doing some kind of sacrifice during Len…

Skydiving and Lent

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Lent is fast approaching. How I see it and what I do is up to me. Ash Wednesday is next week, so I don't have much time to decide.

Christians, Catholic and otherwise, in my culture generally change what we eat for this season. I'm a Catholic, so I've got rules.

But not all that many. Mostly they're guidelines. I put a link to my territory's rules about diet under 'Fast & Abstinence' near the end of this post....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Lent is a Week Away! Are You Ready to Make It Fruitful?

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Can you believe it? Lent is only one week away! We’ve barely left the Christmas season, and we are about to walk the journey, with Christ, to Calvary. Are you prepared to enter the Lenten season? Are you ready to make the most of it?

Things You Can Do to Make Your Lent Fruitful
Prayer: Make a point to set aside a few minutes each day to pray. If you have enough time to say a full Rosary, great! But, sometimes, the day gets away from us. So, a vow to say a single Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be is a commitment I think we all could easily make. Prayer is talking with God. He wants to hear from you!Fasting: At a minimum, make the effort to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. By fasting, I mean a reduced breakfast and lunch, and a full dinner. No desserts! If you can do this on a set day of the week, once weekly during Lent, all the better! Fasting helps us to understand that without God, we are nothing. It is God who provides for us: our homes, our jobs, our food, everything!Almsg…

Forgiveness: A Lenten Message

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Who Do You Have to Forgive
truth is, we all have someone to forgive(1)," writes R. Scott Hurd, in the very beginning of his life-changing book Forgiveness: The Catholic Approach ("Forgiveness").
The following is Scott's list of people we may need to forgive; the comments in the parentheses are my two cents.

1. Rude drivers (very appropriate for those of us who live in Massachusetts)
2. Spouses (thank goodness for Sacramental Grace - that is all I have to say!)
3. Friends (they can hurt or betray us, or over time may become our "frenemies")
4. Bosses (those who steal our ideas, treat us unjustly, or are just plain grumpy)
5. Bullies (even as adults we can find ourselves faced with cruel people)

But Wait, There's More!

I would add:
1. Ourselves (often the hardest person to forgive)
2. God (It is okay to admit this, He will not send down lightning to smote you for being honest.
Furthermore, let's face it: He already knows you are angry. If He created your brain…

You Cannot Fail at Lent

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Plans are Meant to be Altered All over social media, those still left after the Lenten Exodus, people are confessing to their inability to keep their Lenten promises.  According to Facebook and Twitter, there has been lots of coffee drunk, chocolate eaten, swears said, and prayer time skipped.  The hashtag #LentenFail started showing up just a day into the liturgical season.  The #LentFail numbers grew again after bacon bits, chicken broth and unintentional "Oh no, I totally forgot it was Lent" hamburger consumption on the first Friday of Lent.

Here is the good news. YOU Cannot Fail Lent.  It is not a test. Lent is a time of looking at our lives and trying new ways to grow closer to Christ.  Through prayer, fasting and charity, these forty days can be used to challenge our current choices and behaviors, and try on new ones.    The fasting, prayer and alms we take on for Lent, can also enhance our lives well beyond Easter ... read more for ideas on how and extra encouragement…

‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’ Sunday Reflections, Palm Sunday, Year A

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Christ's Entry into Jerusalem,
Melozzo da Forli

The Commemoration of the Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem

Gospel Matthew 21:1-11 (NRSV,Catholic Ed., Can.)

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. …

'Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ Sunday Reflections, Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A

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The Raising of Lazarus, Rembrandt [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible)
For the shorter form of the Gospel omit the passages [in square brackets].Gospel John 11:1-44 [11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45] (NRSV,Catholic Ed
[Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.] So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ [The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now tryin…

The Gift Of Prayer - Only Useful When Being Used

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Gifts are Meant to be Used“What is the gift of prayer?” is the first question asked in the Walk in Her Sandals’ journal with regard to Pat’s reflection. Personally, I see prayer as part of what I’ve dubbed, “The Grace Trifecta.” This trifecta consists of one engaging in prayer, participating in the Sacraments, as well as reading and reflecting on Scripture — prayer, Sacrament and Scripture. It truly amazes me that God allows us to communicate with Him in this intimate way. What a gift that he allows us to enter into conversation with Him.

When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s…

'One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.' Sunday Reflections. Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A

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Blind Pensioner with a Stick, Van Gogh [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India
Gospel John 9:1-41 [9: 1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38] (NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Ed)

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. [His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’] When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, ‘Is this not the…

To ask for a drink is no big request but to ask it of me?' Sunday Reflections, Third Sunday of Lent, Year A

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Christ and the Samaritan Woman, Duccio di Buoninsegna
Readings (New American Bible)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) For the shorter form of the Gospel omit the passages in square bracketsGospel John 4:5-42 [5:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42](NRSV, Anglicised Catholic Ed.)  


Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
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The video is taken from The Gospel of John directed by Philip Saville.
I remember reading a story about Pope John Paul I when he was still known as Albino Luciani, Patriarch of Venice. One of his priests in a rural parish was known more for being absent from his parish than for being present. Cardinal Luciani went to visit the parish - and the priest was away. So the Cardinal covered for him until the priest …