February 19 – First Friday of Lent

Posted on February 19, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

beReconciledToday’s Scripture

“Go first and be reconciled with your brother, (Mat 5:25).

Daily Lent Reflection

In today’s Gospel reading we hear that we should not be approaching the altar if our brother (or sister) has something against us. One of the important lessons from this reading is the need for reconciliation. Our humanity inevitably means that there are those with whom we have fallen out – and most of us can think of someone with whom we need to be reconciled.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will think of a relationship in my life where there is disunity. I will  ponder what can be done in that relationship. Is it time to speak to that person or is it time for me to pray that God opens my heart?


 

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 18 – First Thursday of Lent

Posted on February 18, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

letUsPrayToday’s Scripture

“On the day I cried out, you answered, (Psa 138:3).

Daily Lent Reflection

Rather like the Psalm which is used today, the reading from the Book of Esther is a prayer of total trust in the Lord. Esther’s people are exiles in a foreign land and are facing the risk of extermination. Esther appeals to the king for mercy for her people, knowing that she will face death if he rejects her plea.

Her prayer is a model for all prayer – an acknowledgement that we are helpless and weak, but that we are also filled with trust and hope and the knowledge that the Lord will strengthen us and sustain us.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself if I pray like Esther. Are there any small steps I need to take to strengthen my prayer life?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 17 – First Wednesday of Lent

Posted on February 17, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

turnFromSinToday’s Gospel

“A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn, (Psa 50:17).

Daily Lent Reflection

Today’s readings connect the mission of Jesus to that of the ancient prophet Jonah; the prophet associated with the whale. The symbolism of Jonah in the whale’s belly is associated with the Lord’s days in the tomb before the glory of the Resurrection.

The story of the repentance of the people of Nineveh, a people regarded by the Jews as beyond redemption, is used as a warning to those who will reject the mission of Jesus. Jesus draws those who are regarded as contemptible in his society, tax collectors and sinners, and cautions those who think they are guaranteed to be saved to think again.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will reflect on the image of “a heart contrite and humbled” and ask myself, “What is there in my life that I feel the need to be repentant for, so that my heart might be more humbled and contrite?”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 16 – First Tuesday of Lent

Posted on February 16, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

livingWordToday’s Gospel

“So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.(Isa 55:11).

Daily Lent Reflection

The Isaiah reading describes the Hebrew concept of Dabhar, the creative energy of God which makes things happen. The creation story is a good example, where God created the universe just by saying “Let there be…”

The ultimate Word of God is of course his son Jesus, the Living Word. The gospel reading takes up the theme of the use of words, this time in the verbalising of prayer. The Lord’s advice is that we should live out our prayer in doing good to others so that the words are not “empty babble.”

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will try today to be conscious today of how I use my words – in my conversations and exchanges with others, and in my prayer.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 15 – First Monday of Lent

Posted on February 15, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

beHolyToday’s Gospel

‘Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy,’ (Lev 19:2).

Daily Lent Reflection

Today’s readings sum up what service to God is about. The Book of Leviticus offers detailed rules which govern the lives of the faithful followers of the Lord; but ultimately, the supreme rule is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In the Gospel reading, the consequences of not seeing God in the weakest and most vulnerable are starkly portrayed in the account of the Final Judgment.  So we are reminded that Lent is not a time for being focused on our own pious practice and feeling justified and self-righteous. Instead, it is about serving God in other people: in this way we will be “holy as the Lord God is holy.”

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will look for opportunities to serve God in others, without them noticing.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 14 – First Sunday of Lent

Posted on February 14, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

spiritLedToday’s Gospel

“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there by the devil for forty days, (Luke 4:1-2).”

Daily Lent Reflection

Our Sunday Lent readings this year begin with an account of Jesus’ time being tested.  Luke tells us that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan. However, Jesus did not rely on his own human strength to overcome temptation. He relied on the Holy Spirit to give him strength, wisdom, courage, and self-control. We too are given the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness and to be our guide in times of testing.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today, I strive to become aware of the choices I make, both small and large, and reflect on my reasons for making them. Am I acting in line with my faith and seeking help from the Holy Spirit, or am I being tempted?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 13 – Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Posted on February 13, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

followMeToday’s Gospel

‘Follow me,(Luke 5:27).

Daily Lent Reflection

In today’s gospel we hear the call of Matthew; he is called to be a disciple of Jesus.  Matthew is sitting in the customs house and Jesus approaches him and says ‘Follow me’.  These words change Matthew’s life.  But this call is not just something that happened to Matthew: it is a call to each one of us, and it is a call each day. 

Lent is a very good time to take stock and almost conduct an audit of our lives.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will reflect on what parts of my life I need to leave behind to follow Jesus more faithfully.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 12 – Friday after Ash Wednesday

Posted on February 12, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

actWithIntegrityToday’s Gospel

“Your vindication (integrity) shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard, (Isa 58:8).”

Daily Lent Reflection

We are called to act with integrity in all aspects of our lives – and we all have the potential to stray from this. Integrity is mentioned many times in Scripture and it is both a private and a public matter. These lines of Scripture come immediately after the value of fasting – something traditional in Lenten observance. The image we are offered is one where we hold our personal integrity before us in the knowledge that ‘the glory of the Lord is behind us’. We are almost ‘sandwiched’ between these two callings.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will examine my life to determine if there is anything I need to fast from in order to act with integrity. I will also meditate on today’s reading to see if it aligns with the way I lead my life.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 11 – Thursday After Ash Wednesday

Posted on February 11, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

chooseLifeToday’s Gospel

“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, (Deut 30:19).”

Daily Lent Reflection

Today we are challenged with a choice – life or death. We might be tempted not to engage with something so stark. Perhaps it is easier to see life and death as either a drawing towards or a drawing away from God. God leaves us free to make that choice.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will reflect on what makes me most alive and draws me to God. I will always meditate on what gets in the way of me making the choice to live each day to the fullest and see it as a blessing from God.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

February 10 – Ash Wednesday

Posted on February 10, 2016 by - Lent Reflections

ashWednesdayToday’s Gospel

“We are ambassadors for Christ, (2 Cor 5:20).”

Daily Lent Reflection

As we begin Lent this year, let us remember that it is a time for both repentance and renewal. Lent is a season to look at our own inner disunity and the disunity we all experience between our faith and our actions. But it is also a season of hope. Let us pray that we can enter this season open to the grace to renew our baptismal promises at Easter.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will reflect on how and where I am an ambassador for Christ and look for new opportunities to share the Gospel.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark