Lent Reflection: Holy Thursday

Posted on April 13, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 13, 2017
Lent Reflection: Holy Thursday (April 13, 2017) - ‘How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me?’(Psalm 116:12)

Reflection

Some might say that the simple answer to that question is, “You can’t.” In a way, that is true. How could we ever repay the Lord? But this is not a banking transaction with time limits and penalties of added interest. Jesus gives us a very simple instruction so that we can live out the love that he has shown us in sharing his life and love with us. He calls us to be foot washers. This powerful symbol of not being powerful sets the pathway for the Christian life. Some call it “servant leadership.”


Challenge

  • How am I called to serve?
  • How can I lead others to Christ?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Wednesday of Holy Week

Posted on April 12, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 12, 2017
Lent Reflection: Wednesday of Holy Week (April 12, 2017) - ‘Surely it is not I, Rabbi?’(Matthew 26:25)

Reflection

Today used to be known as “Spy Wednesday” as we read the account of Judas cutting a deal with the chief priests to hand Jesus over to them. Commentators tell us that thirty pieces of silver was the compensation paid to a slave owner by the owner of an ox if his beast gored a slave to death (Ex 21:32). So here we have the treasurer of the group of disciples squandering the life of his master for a paltry reward. Does that make his action better or worse than if he had been rewarded handsomely? What price are we prepared to pay to gain benefit for ourselves at the expense of our values?


Challenge

  • What am I prepared to compromise on for the greater good?
  • What am I prepared to defend at all costs?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Tuesday of Holy Week

Posted on April 11, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 11, 2017
Lent Reflection: Tuesday of Holy Week (April 11, 2017) - ‘You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength.’(Isaiah 49:3-4)

Reflection

Here we have not so much the calm before the storm, as the edginess of wondering if the right decisions have been taken. As the story of the Passion begins, we ask ourselves if we too are exhausted by our efforts and just want the pressures to stop. If we are to be a light to the nations, what steps do we need to take so that the light is not snuffed out?


Challenge

  • Today I ask myself: what particular light am I able to shine in order to show others the glory of God?
  • I remember that a cluster of lights together shine even brighter than one flickering candle. Who can I work with in order to be supported, so that together we might shine even brighter?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Monday of Holy Week

Posted on April 10, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 10, 2017
Lent Reflection: Monday of Holy Week (April 10, 2017) - ‘...The house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.’(John 12:3)

Reflection

It is perhaps hard for us to really appreciate how unseemly this incident was—the intimacy of a woman anointing the feet of a male dinner guest and wiping them with her hair. The disapproval of the extravagance by Judas, who of course had his own agenda, and the shocking revelation that in order to regain control of the people, the opponents of Jesus were going to kill Lazarus as well. If we were to use the metaphor of smells, the heavenly scent of the ointment could not mask the stench of greed and corruption.


Challenge

  • What challenges me in the story of the smells? What situations do I manipulate in order to come out “smelling of roses”? I ask forgiveness for these.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Palm Sunday

Posted on April 9, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 9, 2017
Lent Reflection: Palm Sunday (April 9, 2017) - ‘The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue...’(Isaiah 50:4)

Reflection

The Isaiah reading begins with the gifts of calming speech and attentive listening so that the needs of the weary can be met. It then unpacks the violence of being spat upon, torn, and insulted. Does the one necessarily follow from the other? By being good, do you always encounter evil? That is certainly what happened to Jesus. His story of the liberation of the oppressed sees him confined, tortured, and destroyed.


Challenge

  • I will spend some time today with the Passion story and walk with Jesus through that narrative.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: 5th Saturday of Lent

Posted on April 8, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 8, 2017
Lent Reflection: 5th Saturday of Lent (April 8, 2017) - ‘What do you think?
That he will not come to the feast?’(John 11:56)

Reflection

The tension is building and the sense of menace is palpable. The plot has already been laid by Caiaphas and the authorities and the visitors to Jerusalem are wondering if Jesus will show up. Jesus makes his decision. His journey to the city will be modest but his entry will be both humble and spectacular.


Challenge

  • How can I work humbly for what is right even in the face of disapproval?
  • Today I will imagine what it was like for Jesus to walk towards Jerusalem, knowing what might happen to him there.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: 5th Friday of Lent

Posted on April 7, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 7, 2017
Lent Reflection: 5th Friday of Lent (April 7, 2017) - ‘Even if you do not to believe me, believe the works.’(John 10:38)

Reflection

Again, Jesus is engaged in a heated argument and again just narrowly avoids being stoned for blasphemy. Rather than using clever words, he suggests his opponents look to his actions rather than words. We might call it “walking the walk.” In Jesus’ case, the lame are walking upright again, the sick are cured, the blind can see, and the outcasts welcomed. Who needs words when the evidence is there for all to see?


Challenge

  • Today, I will try to do something that I know in my heart reflects my commitment as a good steward of the Lord. How will I “walk the walk” today?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: 5th Thursday of Lent

Posted on April 6, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 6, 2017
Lent Reflection: 5th Thursday of Lent (April 6, 2017) - ‘Who do you make yourself out to be?’(John 8:53)

Reflection

These words are a direct challenge to Jesus. He is accused of being a Samaritan and possessed by a devil and of uttering blasphemy against Abraham and the prophets. His opponents are about to stone him. We know who Jesus was claiming to be and who Jesus is. What if the question were asked of us? Who are we claiming to be as followers of Jesus? Would we say we are holy, set apart, adherents to a set of rules? Perhaps we could say that we have been entrusted with something very precious that we are not to hoard but to generously share. We are the stewards of the story of Jesus and the Christian life.


Challenge

  • How will I share today the wonderful gift that I am stewarding for the Lord?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: 5th Wednesday of Lent

Posted on April 5, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 5, 2017
Lent Reflection: 5th Wednesday of Lent (April 5, 2017) - ‘If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’(John 8:31-32)

Reflection

The American poet Robert Frost wrote in his poem “Death of the Hired Man”: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.” The freedom spoken of today in John’s Gospel opens us to welcome both the stranger and the ones who have become estranged.


Challenge

  • Today, I will think about those who are estranged from me. How can I welcome them home?
  • I think too about the “newcomers,” the “strangers.” How can I reach out to them with a hand of welcome?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: 5th Tuesday of Lent

Posted on April 4, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 4, 2017
Lent Reflection: 5th Tuesday of Lent (April 4, 2017) - ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM.’(John 8:28)

Reflection

Jesus tells the unbelievers that when he is lifted up in death they will know that he is truly the Son of God. This echoes the first reading when Moses lifts up the bronze serpent in the desert to revive those who had been bitten by snakes. Jesus is telling us here that God can make our wounds our glory and transfigure us from death to life. We tend to say: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”


Challenge

  • I will take a few minutes today to think of something I thought would defeat me but which has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. If I am able to, I thank God for that blessing.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.