Great Lent Today
DAY 8 - Second Monday of Great Lent
Convert us, O God our Savior,
and instruct or minds by heavenly teaching,
that we may benefit from the works of Lent.
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 (alternate)
Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 15; Matthew 25:31-46
In His Steps - A Lenten Series
Today: Nazareth: Growing Up a Carpenter's
Bring us back to you.
We repeat our desire that God bring us home from our wandering.
We know that in the confusion that surrounds us and can fill us,
we need the gift of Wisdom.
It is fitting that our very first "lesson" in our faith,
is the last judgment scene that Jesus paints for us.
We will be judged on whether we:
fed the hungry
welcomed the stranger
clothed the naked
comforted the sick
visited the imprisoned.
It is powerful to re-learn this wisdom -
Jesus identifies with each of these "least" cared for.
Who might we feed, welcome, clothe, comfort or visit this week?
As my heart might "resist" this mission,
I might beg to be brought back, with all my heart.
Today's Daily Reflection
by Marty Kalkowski, School of Pharmacy, Creighton University
Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 15
When I reflect on the words, "be holy" as a call to be like God, because God is
holy, part of me wants to run far away. I want to say that I canít do this, that
I canít be holy like God because Iím NOT God Ė end of story! However, in the
reading from Leviticus, we are told that part of being holy is doing justice to
others. We are to treat others with respect and fairness, whether they are
seeking wages, whether they are deaf or blind, or whether they are someone who
is difficult to deal with. We are to love our neighbors, and the text doesnít
seem to give us the choice to pick and choose whom we will love. Godís measuring
stick, even though I oftentimes donít want to use it and donít want to be
measured by it, is a challenge for most of us.
Hereís an example what I mean about struggling with loving my neighbor and being
holy. I sometimes have an easy time loving my children, as things seem to be
going well, they are behaving in reasonable ways, and there are no crises.
However, there are also times when my teenage children push boundaries, question
what I consider to be basic beliefs, and behave in ways that frustrate me. Itís
at these times, when I feel pushed as a parent, that I find out about my true
character, my ability to do justice and love my teenage children. I can
sometimes step back and take the long view, and invite my children to keep
growing as they experience lifeís ups and downs. There are other times when I
react or overreact to something theyíve said or done. I find that when I reflect
on my behavior that thereís often something I can learn about parenting and
about Godís love. I can offer an apology when appropriate, if I was out of line.
I can also ask for what I need from them, and be clear about my expectations. My
wife, Teresa, is a real blessing as a partner, as she strives for consistency in
teaching and consequences. I also have the opportunity to pray in thanksgiving
for my wife as a partner in parenting, as well as for grace and guidance from
the Holy Spirit.
There may be an opportunity for each of us in our day, to look at how we are
doing justice today, to all our neighbors. We may also be able to ask "how am I
sharing Godís love today?" This focus may help us to love God more deeply and
follow Godís ways more closely. May we seek Christ today in all our encounters
and love Christ as we find the Presence there.
Preface for Meditation
by Prince Mathew
Fasting is the advocate of repentance. Adam and Eve disobeyed God; they refused
to fast from the forbidden fruit. They became slaves of their own desires. But
now through fasting, through obedience to the rules of the Church regarding the
use of spiritual and material goods, we may return to the life in Paradise, a
life of communion with God. Thus, fasting is a means of salvation, this
salvation being a life we live in accordance with the Divine will, in communion
with God. Because of the liberating effect of fasting, both material and
spiritual, the Church has connected fasting with the celebration of the major
feasts of our tradition.
Easter is the "feast of feasts." It is the feast of our liberation from the
bondage of sin, from corrupted nature, from death. For on that day, through His
Resurrection from the dead, Christ has raised us "from death to life, and from
earth to heaven", Christ, "our new Passover," has taken us away from the land of
slavery, sin and death, to the promised land of freedom, bliss and glory; from
our sinful condition to resurrected life.
"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that
nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their
minds on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind
controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8: 5-6) We need to live in
accordance with our spirit and not our natural desires if we want to overcome
temptation. Also God gave us His Holy Spirit. With His power we can overcome the
Fifty-Day Gospel Planner
(Read all Gospels during the Great Lent)
But I say unto you
which hear, Love your
enemies, do good to them
which hate you,
28Bless them that
curse you, and pray for them
which despitefully use you.
29And unto him that
smiteth thee on the one
cheek offer also the other;
and him that taketh away thy
cloak forbid not to take thy
30Give to every man
that asketh of thee; and of
him that taketh away thy
goods ask them not again.
31And as ye would that
men should do to you, do ye
also to them likewise.
32For if ye love them
which love you, what thank
have ye? for sinners also
love those that love them.
33And if ye do good to
them which do good to you,
what thank have ye? for
sinners also do even the
34And if ye lend to
them of whom ye hope to
receive, what thank have ye?
for sinners also lend to
sinners, to receive as much
35But love ye your
enemies, and do good, and
lend, hoping for nothing
again; and your reward shall
be great, and ye shall be
the children of the Highest:
for he is kind unto the
unthankful and to the evil.
36Be ye therefore
merciful, as your Father
also is merciful.
Verse for the Day:
"Be merciful, just as your
Father is merciful" - St. Luke 6:36
Praise to Jesus, our Savior; by his death he has opened for us the way of
Let us ask him:
Lord, guide your people to walk in your ways.
God of mercy, you gave us new life through baptism,
- make us grow day by day in your likeness.
May our generosity today bring joy to those in need,
- in helping them may we find you.
Help us to do what is good, right and true in your sight,
- and to seek you always with undivided hearts.
Forgive our sins against the unity of your family,
- make us one in heart and spirit.
you call us back to you with all of our hearts.
I feel your call for me deep in my heart
and I know you want me back
as much as I want to return.
give me the wisdom to know how to return.
Make my journey back to you this Lent
one of grace, forgiveness and gentle love.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
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