February 29 – Third Monday of Lent

Posted on February 29, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

needForPrayerToday’s Gospel

“He passed through the midst of them and went away, (Luke 4:30).”

Daily Lent Reflection

Jesus was a man with boundaries. He totally gave of himself, to the sick and the needy, and in his death on a cross. But he knew when to conserve his energy and to attend to his own safety and to his need for prayer. Nowadays we call this “assertiveness.” It is the ability to respond appropriately in the moment, to say “no” or to schedule time for oneself.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask whether I make time for prayer in my life. Am I assertive with time boundaries, or do I martyr myself so that I can score “busy points”? Do I try to control and think that I am indispensable?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 28 – Third Sunday of Lent

Posted on February 28, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

holyGroundToday’s Scripture

“Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground., (Exo 3:5).”

Daily Lent Reflection

How awesome – to stand before the living God! And yet we do it at every minute of every day. There is no greater worship than to present ourselves to God, in the unadorned reality of ourselves, without illusions, but also without resentment or bitterness. Life is a great gift; owning my life and gifting it to God is the right response. This is holy ground; this is where I stand – and it is holy.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will remind myself throughout the day that I am on holy ground. How does this feel?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 27 – Second Saturday of Lent

Posted on February 27, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

giveThanksToday’s Scripture

“Bless the LORD, my soul; and do not forget all his gifts, (Psa 103:2).”

Daily Lent Reflection

Sometimes we feel very blessed–things might be going well and it is easy to “give thanks to the Lord.” At other times it is only too easy to “forget all his blessings.”  Life can be tough and we can be limited by our experiences; we can lose hope because life does not go according to plan.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I thank the Lord for the blessings that come my way in whatever guise – people, situations, surroundings, activities, weather etc. 

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 26 – Second Friday of Lent

Posted on February 26, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

godsGiftsToday’s Scripture

“When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his brothers, they hated him so much that they could not say a kind word to him, (Gen 37:4).”

Daily Lent Reflection

Today’s first reading is part of the story of Joseph, the dreamer (the one with the multicolored dreamcoat). It is the story of how his brothers were jealous because Joseph had what they wanted. They could not appreciate the fact that God had chosen specific gifts for Joseph; but more importantly, they were also not recognizing the gifts that God had chosen for each of them.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself if there is a person in my life I want to be like or a gift I wish I had that I have not been given? Can I be grateful when I receive that gift from or through someone else? I also will meditate on the gifts that God has given me and thank God for me.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

An Everyday Steward is Accountable

Posted on February 25, 2016 by - Everyday Stewardship

For each Sunday of Lent and Passion Sunday, the Everyday Stewardship reflection will look at each of the six characteristics of an Everyday Steward, as contained in the book of the same name.

This week we explore how an Everyday Steward is “accountable.”

Click here to read the full post

Past posts:

If you missed the reflection, An Everyday Steward is Prayerful, you can read it here.
If you missed the reflection, An Everyday Steward is Mindful,  you can read it here.

February 25 – Second Thursday of Lent

Posted on February 25, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

repentToday’s Gospel Acclamation

“Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory…Father I have sinned against heaven and against you.”

Daily Lent Reflection

Sin is not something we readily talk about – and it sometimes seems as if it is not fashionable to talk about it. Perhaps we think of sin as the things that we do that we judge as wrong. In this season that invites us to repent, we could think about two aspects of our own sin.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself where and when am I not conscious of God in my life? What are the areas of disunity? For example, is there a person or group of people I find difficult to love today? Is there a way I could change that today?

Over the course of today, I will consider the things I eat. Is what I eat (or the way it has been produced) contributing to anyone being exploited or treated unjustly in any way? Have I eaten more than I need today?

 

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

I Love LA!

Posted on February 24, 2016 by - Everyday Stewardship

la-congressEvery year, thousands and thousands of Catholics from around the country come to Los Angeles for the LA Congress for Religious Education. I will be there Friday, Saturday, & Sunday and we will be debuting the Everyday Stewardship book in Spanish! If you are on your way to LA, I will see you in the LPI booth. Stop by to say hello! Leisa Anslinger will also be our guest and LPI will be selling her Building Bridges workbooks in the booth. It’s going to be great!

When was the last time you took the time to do something out of the ordinary to form your faith at a conference, retreat, or other event? Taking the time to grow in our faith is important in any stewardship way of life. Look for an opportunity that speaks to you, even an offering in your own parish. Don’t let time just pass you by. You won’t regret it!

February 24 – Second Wednesday of Lent

Posted on February 24, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

inYourHandsToday’s Scripture

“In your hands is my destiny, (Psa 31:15).

Daily Lent Reflection

We are now about a third of the way through Lent.

This season of repentance, renewal and hope may have started well – or maybe it was full of good intentions that haven’t been fully realised as yet.

Perhaps today we can take this short phrase from the psalm as a mantra, repeating it throughout the day: “In your hands is my destiny.”

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I meditate on the thought that my life is in the hands of a Mighty and Wondrous God. How do I feel when I hear that my destiny is in His hands?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

This Same God Is Our God

Posted on February 23, 2016 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, February 28, 2016, 3rd Sunday of Lent

Illustration of gravitational waves formed by black holes merging.

Recently, the scientific community was shaken by the news that a theory of Einstein, made almost a hundred years ago, was verified. Through the use of an ultra-sensitive telescope, Dr. Nergis Mavalvala and her team at MIT, proved that there has been a ripple in space-time. This phenomenon was produced by gravitational waves resulting from the collision of two black holes about 1.3 billion years ago.

It sounds like science fiction, but it isn’t. How amazing! The news media caught the excitement. We also caught it! Our universe is astoundingly huge and so very old! Our small minds can barely grasp it! Yet, it’s true. It’s real! Awe results!

That awe migrates to an awe of the Source of creation. Our God created this universe, which may be only one of many. Our God existed even before 1.3 billion years ago when there was nothing. Who is this God? What is this God? Mystery piles upon mystery!

Moses is tending sheep in the wilderness. He is nothing … doesn’t even tend his own flock, but the flock of his father-in-law. Suddenly he sees something. What is it? A bush that is burning but not burning! How can this be? Curiosity draws him nearer. In the movie, The Ten Commandments, this scene is tame. The bush shimmers. Scripture says it burned. Fire! It’s hot! It’s dangerous! Fire spreads and eats everything in its path. But this fire is different. It flames, but doesn’t consume. Moses doesn’t understand. But then a voice calls him by name. “Moses! Moses!” And he responds to this theophany, “Here I am.”

God identifies himself as a God of Moses’ family, the God of his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These are names familiar to Moses. He hides his face in the presence of this God. He is given a commission. This God has heard his people’s cry. He will rescue them through Moses. He stands there, probably unable to take in all of this. Coming to his senses, he asks for the name of this God of his ancestors. A name describes the essence of a person—who one is, what one is—one’s mission. God names his essence. “I am who am.” “Tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.”

The great “I AM” who always was and always will be! The great “I AM” who created universes with gravitational waves rippling through them as black holes collided. The great “I AM” who exists in no time, before time was. This was the God of Moses. This same God is our God.

As time moved on from Moses, this God stepped into our small world to show us the covenant relationship he wishes to have with us. Jesus, the promised Messiah, came. Jesus lived like us, among us. Jesus taught us, so we could grow closer to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and also Moses. Jesus came to bring the kingdom of that God to our earth, our tiny planet.

He taught in stories, knowing that we humans love to hear them. Some stories were meant to teach us hard lessons. In today’s parable, we are all like the fig tree. We are here to bear fruit through our lives. Bear fruit or perish, the parable says! The warning is severe. But then, enter the gardener, an image of Jesus himself. He tends us. He works our soil that we may grow. He feeds us, again, that we may grow and bear fruit. He gives us time to change our ways. This is the point Jesus emphasizes. We must repent and change our ways.

What is it in my life that is keeping me from bearing fruit? Have my roots shriveled up? Do they reach deeply into God, the soil of my life? Have I turned away from the sun, the true Son, and been caught up in darkness? What is the darkness in my life? Have I hardened myself so as not to receive the nourishing grace God offers?

It is still early in Lent. If I haven’t begun, can I and will I start now? With God being the great “I AM,” there is no time. Can I say, like Moses, “Here I am”? Can I take my shoes off in the presence of God who is everywhere? And can I trust that, like the gardener, God will work with me and give me all that I need to produce fruit?

Now! Now! It is the acceptable time!

Pat DeGroot, OblSB

PRAYER

God of faithfulness and expectation.
Bless these children of yours who seek to follow your ways.
Help them to see that your Son, Jesus the Christ,
came to live among us in the flesh,
as he struggled, like we do, with human weakness.
Give them strength as they fight against the forces of evil and selfishness,
so that they live for you and your church.
Give us the strength to journey with them
as they walk towards the baptismal font at the next Easter Vigil.
We ask all this in the name of God the Father,
God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

—Prayer for Catechumens, © LPi.

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Don’t Be a Sourpuss!

Posted on February 23, 2016 by - Everyday Stewardship

catThere are many voices out there today that paint a bleak picture of the Church and her ability to overcome secular culture and evangelize a broken world. They keep lamenting, “Look how bad everything is!” The jump from Church scandal to declining priestly vocations to empty pews.

Sometimes, there are strong and important points to be made. But many times, unfortunately, these messengers of gloom are really embodying the term Pope Francis used in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelic Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), sourpusses.

Click here to read the full post