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Great Lent Today

Day 27 - Fourth Saturday of the Great Lent

Opening Prayer:

Rejoicing in this annual celebration
of our Lenten observance,
we pray, O Lord,
that, with our hearts set on the paschal mysteries,
we may be gladdened by their full effects.
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
Hosea 6:1-6; Psalm 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab; Luke 18:9-14

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: Nain: A Funeral Interrupted

Daily Meditation:

Bring us to the full joy of Easter.

This is the last day of the first part of Lent.
Our lesson is a powerful one.
The one person praying in the temple is proud of his spiritual accomplishments.
The other person is deeply humble before God,
and goes home having really named the graces desired.

Through our daily practices, we are placed with Jesus in suffering,
in growing surrender to the deaths of our life,
and in anticipation of the full joy of Easter

Keep me from any deadly sin.
Only you can save me!
Then I will shout and sing about your power to save.
Psalm 51:14

Today's Daily Reflection

by Joe Zaborowski, Purchasing Department, Creighton University

The readings for today have many of the elements of Lent. The first reading gives me hope. We see the foreshadowing of the resurrection and are assured God "will heal us." The psalm is a plea for God to "thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me." Certainly a Lenten theme is found in this psalm. The gospel reading directs me to right thought in my relationship with the Lord.

I find the gospel speaking to me the loudest. During our men's group the other morning we were discussing a scriptural passage and the question I proposed was "who am I most like today in the reading?" In today's gospel passage Luke gives examples of two men and their prayerful relationship with the Lord. Once again the Pharisee shows poorly while the sinful tax collector through humility "will be exalted." This gives me pause to stand back in my own life and consider whether I relate more to the Pharisee or tax collector? Are my motives always pure when I'm involved in activities at the parish or do I partake for my own self-glorification? Do I really strive for a personal relationship with Christ in a humble manner? Questioning my motives, particularly during the reflective time of Lent, can bear much fruit in my lifelong spiritual journey.

I find these questions can be asked in other areas of life. Am I willing to take a humble back seat at work and home? I need to realize that I do not always need to be self-promoting. Often the role of invisible worker bee is best suited for my spiritual growth. These questions will always be examined as I sojourn through life. The season of Lent allows me more reflection time. From this reflection I hope most days I can be the tax collector and not the Pharisee. As I pray and reflect I realize the strength always comes from the grace of God and my reliance on him.

Preface for Meditation:
by Prince Mathew

When mankind was estranged from him by disobedience, God our Savior made a plan for raising us from our fall and restoring us to friendship with himself. According to this plan Christ came in the flesh, he showed us the gospel way of life, he suffered, died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He did this so that we could be saved by imitation of him, and recover our original status as sons of God by adoption.

To attain holiness, then, we must not only pattern our lives on Christ's by being gentle, humble and patient, we must also imitate him in his death. Taking Christ for his model, St. Paul said that he wanted to become like him in his death in the hope that he too would be raised from death to life.

We imitate Christ's death by being buried with him in baptism. If we ask what this kind of burial means and what benefit we may hope to derive from it, it means first of all making a complete break with our former way of life. In other words, we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction. So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.

Our descent into hell takes place when we imitate the burial of Christ by our baptism. The bodies of the baptized are in a sense buried in the water as a symbol of their renunciation of sins of their unregenerate nature. Baptism cleanses the soul from the pollution of worldly thoughts and inclinations: You will wash me, says the psalmist, and I shall be wither than snow. We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world, and baptism is its symbol.

Bible Reading Passages:

Fourth Saturday of Great Lent

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

Before Holy Qurbana

Holy Qurbana

Gospel Readings:

Luke 9:10-17 (KJV)

And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.

But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.

And they did so, and made them all sit down.

Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.

And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

Bible Verse of the Day:

"Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people." St. Luke 9:16

Intercessions:

To make us his new creation, Christ the Lord gave us the waters of rebirth
and spread the table of his body and his word. Let us call upon him and say:
Lord, renew us in your grace.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, clothe us with compassion, kindness and humility,
- make us want to be patient with everyone.
Teach us to be true neighbors to all in trouble and distress,
- and so imitate you, the Good Samaritan.
May the Blessed Virgin, your Mother, pray for all those vowed to a life of virginity,
- that they may deepen their dedication to you and to the Church.
Grant us the gift of your mercy,
- forgive our sins and remit their punishment.

Closing Prayer:

God of Mercy and Understanding,
I know that with help
I can open my heart more fully
to the mysteries of the suffering and death
of your son.
Help me to be humble in this journey
and remember that any mercy and compassion I feel
is a gift from you.
I await the joy of Easter with new longing and patience.


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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