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Great Lent Today

Day 25 - Fourth Thursday of the Great Lent

Opening Prayer:

We implore your majesty most humbly, O Lord,
that, as the feast of our salvation draws ever closer,
so we may press forward more eagerly
towards the worthy celebration of the Paschal Mystery.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings
Jeremiah 7:23-28; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9; Luke 11:14-23

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: On the Mountain: Transfiguration - More to Come!

Daily Meditation:

May our love grow each day.

We are at the half-way point in our Lenten journey today.
There is so much yet to learn, to examine, to heal, to renew.
We have a sense of the patterns we are naming and a sense of the graces we are asking for,
as well as the ways God is working in us.

We want to be ready and our Lord wants us to be confident.
So we keep asking and we keep giving thanks, throughout our day.

I am the Savior of all people, says the Lord.
Whatever their troubles,
I will answer their cry,
and I will always be their Lord.
The Entrance Antiphon

Today's Daily Reflection

by Dick Hauser, S.J., Theology Department, Creighton University

"Thus says the Lord:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
Then I will be your God and you shall be my people."

Lent is a privileged time for listening to the voice of God. Jesus is our model. After his baptism by John the Baptist at the River Jordan, Jesus withdrew to pray. During his prayer Luke tells us that the skies opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove and a voice from heaven was heard, "You are my beloved son; on you my favor rests."

Jesus, stunned, withdrew led by the Spirit into the desert to figure out what this all meant. For forty days he listened to his Father's voice. His father spoke to him; his life was forever altered.

Jesus then returned from the desert in the power of the Spirit and went to Nazareth in Galilee. In the synagogue on the sabbath he announced his new mission using the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The spirit of the lord is upon me; therefore he has anointed me."

Jesus had been anointed by the Father to begin a new ministry -- proclaiming the Kingdom of God!

This was unacceptable to the townsfolk. They were indignant and wanted to throw him over the brow of the hill. For thirty years Jesus had lived unobtrusively in Nazareth with his mother and pursuing the family trade. He did not stand out among his town folk as anyone special. He was just the son of Joseph the carpenter.

But he had heard his Father's voice and nothing could stop him from embracing his new mission.

Lent is a privileged time for listening to the voice of God in prayer. Like Jesus we must find our own "desert place" where we can listen to God without distraction -- without the noise of cell phones and iPads. In Lent we set aside extra times to go to our "desert place" -- whether it be in church or in nature or in the quiet of our homes — to listen for God's voice in the silence and solitude of prayer. How is God calling us this year to turn away from selfishness and sin? How is God calling us to serve the Kingdom in new ways?

Preface for Meditation:
by Prince Mathew

We are in Mid-Lent. Having climbed the mountain up to this point, we begin to see the end of our pilgrimage, and the rays of Easter grow in their intensity. Lent is our self-crucifixion, our experience, limited as it is, of Christ's commandment heard in the Gospel "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34). But we cannot take up our cross and follow Christ unless we have His Cross which He took up in order to save us. It is His Cross, not ours, that saves us. It is His Cross that gives not only meaning but also power to others.

As we are in midst of Lent, Christ shall lead us up to the spiritual Jerusalem by His Resurrection.... for the Cross is called the Tree of Life, it is the tree that was planted in Paradise, and for this reason our fathers have planted it in the midst of Holy Lent, remembering both Adams bliss and how he was deprived of it, remembering also that partaking of this Tree we no longer die but are kept alive.... Thus, refreshed and reassured, we begin the second part of Lent......with a body and mind of purified, repented and spiritually activated……

Bible Reading Passages:
Fourth Thursday of Great Lent

Fifty-Day Gospel Planner
(Read all Gospels during the Great Lent)

Evening

Morning

Gospel Readings:

Luke 15:11-32 (KJV)

And he said, A certain man had two sons:

And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.

And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.


Matthew 19:16-26 (KJV)

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Bible Verse of the day:

But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.
- St. Luke 15:32

Intercessions:

Christ our Lord came among us as the light of the world, that we might walk in his light,
and not in the darkness of death. Let us praise him and cry out to him:
Let your word be a lamp to guide us.

God of mercy, help us today to grow in your likeness,
- that we who sinned in Adam may rise again in Christ.
Let your word be a lamp to guide us,
- that we may live the truth and grow always in your love.
Teach us to be faithful in seeking the common good for your sake,
- that your light may shine on the whole human family by means of your Church.
Touch our hearts to seek your friendship more and more,
- and to make amends for our sins against your wisdom and goodness.

Closing Prayer:

Loving God,
I hear your invitation, "Come back to me"
and I am filled with such a longing to return to you.
Show me the way to return.
Lead me this day in good works I do in your name
and send your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith.
I ask only to feel your love in my life today.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Source: Portions from: Creighton University Praying Lent

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