March 18 – Fifth Friday of Lent

Posted on March 18, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

godKnowsAllToday’s Gospel

“LORD of hosts, you test the just, you see mind and heart, Let me see the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause,” (Jeremiah 20:12).

Daily Lent Reflection

For Jeremiah, God is the one who knows us intimately, who sees into our hearts and our souls and from whom nothing can be hidden. If my relationship with God is a fearful one, this is a very scary thought, but if I am able to even get an inkling of God’s unconditional love for me, there can be something very comforting about being known in this way. There is nothing I need to hide from God, nothing that could make God love me less; God already knows all my secrets, all my hidden thoughts and desires – even those I don’t understand myself!

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself what does it feel like to be known intimately? How open is my heart to God knowing me in this way?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

An Everyday Steward is Grateful

Posted on March 17, 2016 by - Everyday Stewardship

GratefulFor 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 grateful.

Click here to read the full post


Past posts:

If you missed the reflection, An Everyday Steward is Committed, you can read it here.
If you missed the reflection, An Everyday Steward is Gracious, you can read it here.
If you missed the reflection, An Everyday Steward is Accountable, you can read it here.
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.

March 17 – Fifth Thursday of Lent

Posted on March 17, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

noTurningBackToday’s Gospel

“They left everything and followed him,” (Luke 5:11).

Daily Lent Reflection

It is hard to imagine the incredible impression Jesus must have made on the disciples to make them leave everything and follow him. However, are we not called to do the same? What do we need to leave in order to follow him?

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will think about one aspect of my life that stops me from following Jesus and ask God to help me change.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 16 – Fifth Wednesday of Lent

Posted on March 16, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

freeFromSinToday’s Gospel

“’If you make my Word your home, you will indeed be my disciples; you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free,’” (John 8:31, NJB).

Daily Lent Reflection

Home is a wonderful place where we are welcomed for what we are and, whatever failings we may have, we can always go back home. The Word of Jesus offers that home for the disciples of Jesus Christ and by listening to the Word, Jesus promises that we will not only grow in love and understanding of God, but we will be changed, we will see ourselves and the world around us differently and be gradually freed from sin.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will be grateful for “home” whether that means a place or people to me.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

Welcoming and Rejecting Our Savior

Posted on March 15, 2016 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, March 20, 2016, Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Painting of Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem.

Why do we read the long narrative of Jesus’ suffering and death on Palm Sunday rather than just focus on his triumphant entry into Jerusalem?

The primary reason is liturgical. Popularly, we call this Sunday of Holy Week “Palm Sunday” because of the traditional distribution and blessing of palm branches. However, this day is properly known as “Passion Sunday.” The main focus of the celebration, in fact, is not only Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem but his ensuing passion and death. We begin the Mass with a procession into the church carrying palm branches to solemnly open Holy Week. But we are soon drawn from the joy of welcoming our King and Messiah to the stark realization of how unjustly he was condemned and how cruelly he was put to death.

As in all things liturgical, there is a practical, pastoral reason for our proclamation of the Passion on Palm Sunday. Most people are unable to attend the Good Friday liturgy. Therefore, they would only rarely hear the Passion narrative proclaimed in its entirety in the assembly of the faithful. Including it in the Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Word ensures that all the faithful—including those who may attend less frequently during the year but be drawn to this Mass because of the distribution of palms—will have their religious imagination and spirituality informed by “the Greatest Love Story Ever Told.”

Finally, I would add a spiritual reason for our yearly juxtaposition of these two events. Like the people of Jerusalem, we shift between the desire to celebrate and rejoice in the lordship of Jesus and the temptation to crucify him. We want to follow him in procession all the way to the Temple and at the same time want to put him to death so we can make ourselves god in his place. In one moment, we strive to recognize him in migrants and then, soon after, we succumb to fear that they will take our jobs and ruin our neighborhoods. The narrative of Jerusalem’s unbridled welcome of her Messiah and swift rejection of him is our story. We have experienced it throughout our lives and in particular during these past forty days as we struggled to tame our rebellious spirit through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We love our Lord and we fear him. We seek him out and flee from him. We both submit to his lordship and resent it. We celebrate his power yet covet it for ourselves.

The liturgies that begin on Palm Sunday are not strict, chronological reenactments of the events of Holy Week but an invitation to enter into the Paschal Mystery so as to apply it to our lives. For most of us, the most poignant way we experience it is in our daily struggle with temptation and sin. This confrontation with our divided hearts can leave us grief-stricken as it did for Peter after his threefold denial or even in despair as it did for Judas. Nonetheless, just as the crucifixion of the Messiah led to the world’s salvation, just so our daily struggles and frequent repentance lead to our sanctification. This is true for us as individuals, as a church, and even as a society. The celebrations that commence with this Passion Sunday remind us that salvation is God’s work accomplished in Jesus. And he advances his kingdom unlike any ruler in history—manifesting his power in weakness and triumphing through failure.

Douglas Sousa, STL


Heavenly Father,
you love us without reserve
yet we approach you with divided hearts.
We seek you out yet so often look past you.
We long for you but seek out short-term substitutes.
This week is called “Holy”
because it was sanctified by the sacrifice of your Son.
Through his example, may we give of ourselves freely.
May we surrender our hearts willingly.
Draw the fragmented pieces of our divided hearts together
and give us pure hearts,
pure channels of your love and grace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


The Holy Father announced the upcoming canonization of five new saints, including Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata (née Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu), whose work among the “poorest of the poor” won her worldwide acclaim. Hundreds of Missionaries of Charity, members of the religious order founded by Mother Teresa, are expected to be in Rome for her canonization, set for September 4, 2016.

La corresponsabilidad diaria: reflexiones para el viaje, by Tracy Earl Welliver, is packed full of practical examples and inspiring insights; each of these Everyday Stewardship reflections will encourage you to look more closely for God in all the ordinary moments of your life. Both English and Spanish copies of the book are now available for purchase at

The USCCB offers special resources for Lent on its website at: From there you can download the Pope Francis’ Lenten message in this Year of Mercy and the US Bishops’ pastoral letter on the sacrament of penance, “God’s Gift of Forgiveness,” as well as other great resources.

In addition to its other resources for Lent, the USCCB is offering “40 Days of Mercy,” an online calendar for the season of Lent with daily activities and meditations. You will want to share this information with parish members, school and religious education staffs, and other interested parties. The online calendar can be found at:

Download PDF

We Belong

Posted on March 15, 2016 by - Everyday Stewardship

I VotedIt is primary day here in North Carolina and I just returned from casting my vote! Some years I am passionate about the person I am voting for and some years I seem to be choosing the lesser of multiple evils. Either way, it is important for me to vote because it connects me with my community, both local and national.

I vote because I am a member of the great American family and there is no THEY deciding who runs things and how they are run, it is US who collectively make those decisions.

Click here to read the full post

March 15 – Fifth Tuesday of Lent

Posted on March 15, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

wordsAndActionsToday’s Scripture

“’The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him,’” (John 8:29).

Daily Lent Reflection

Jesus speaks here with a certainty about the teachings of his Father. He is met with misunderstanding initially and these few lines are his response to being misunderstood. Lent is about realigning ourselves with the will of the Father. Perhaps today is a good time to audit again how this Lenten journey is going.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself if I preach what I know of God – in both word and action. What small thing can I do today to show that I am a witness?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 14 – Fifth Monday of Lent

Posted on March 14, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

lightAndDarknessToday’s Scripture

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me,” (Psalm 23:4).

Daily Lent Reflection

Light and darkness are powerful images that occur often in the Bible, and are present in each human life. Darkness is often associated with evil, with fear, with death, or with despair. Here, the Psalmist expresses an absolute trust. Having God as my Shepherd does not remove the darkness, but I know that ultimately I am safe.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself what the areas of internal or external darkness are in my life? What am I afraid of? Where is God in these areas?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 13 – Fifth Sunday of Lent

Posted on March 13, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

sinNoMoreToday’s Gospel

“‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more,” (John 8:11).

Daily Lent Reflection

The story of the adulteress condemned to death by stoning reveals God’s mercy towards sinners. Those that had condemned her were unable to carry out the punishment once Jesus had said ‘if there is one among you who has not sinned let him be the first to throw a stone at her’. They ended up condemning themselves by not casting a stone. But Jesus calls the woman to a new life.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will spend a few moments ‘witnessing’ the scene of the adulteress being brought before Jesus and the reaction of the crowd to Jesus’ response. How does the woman respond to the mercy shown her by Jesus? How do I respond to Jesus’ mercy towards me?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark