Great Lent Today
Day 3 - First Wednesday of the Great Lent
Prayer for Today
"Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare your praise."
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
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.
In His Steps - A Lenten Series
Today: The Fields: Where the Shepherds
Preface for Meditation
by Prince Mathew
Great Lent is a sacred institute of the Church to serve the individual believer
in participating as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. It provides each
person an annual opportunity for self-examination and improving the standards of
faith and morals in his Christian life. The deep intent of the believer during
Great Lent is encapsulated in the words of Saint Paul "forgetting what lies
behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of
the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).”
By keeping and remembering Christ's cross at the center of our lives, our path
will be enlightened and God's plan for us will come to fruition. The act of
remembering what Christ accomplished on the cross is simply not enough for our
Christian calling. This remembrance must ultimately lead us to the reality of
the cross. "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up
his cross, and follow Me." This proclamation by Christ leads us to a spirit of
action and positive change.
Christ tells us to deny ourselves and to focus solely on Him - for He is Lord -
He is King. We are to deny ourselves from our strength, knowledge, capability,
wisdom, wealth, passions, temptations, and anything that will deter us from
being close to God. To leave behind our selfish ways and to empty ourselves, so
that God's will may abide in and work through us. As we state in the Lord's
Prayer. "Thy will be done", it is God's will that truly fulfills our lives.
Lent Daily Reflectionsby Laurence Freeman OSB
'When you fast, do not put on a gloomy look like the hypocrites..' (Matthew 6:16)
Lent is an opportunity to put our authenticity to the test. It is so easy to
slide gradually away from the truth, to imagine a lot but let practice descend
into a role-play that we perform as much for ourselves as to make ourselves look
better in others’ eyes. What a relief it is to get back to our real selves and
accept ourselves even when we find we are flawed, unfaithful and generally
imperfect. We don’t have to make excuses, just to be honest.
To raise the reality check we are helped by an instrument - which is provided by
a special practice we take on during Lent. Prayer, almsgiving and fasting are
the traditional categories of spiritual practice.
So to cover all bases, we could begin with prayer. Reinforcing our discipline of
meditating twice a day. Refreshing our commitment, straightening our posture.
Adding a reading of the day’s gospel. Then giving to those in need– if not
materially then in the currency of time or attention or simple acts of kindness.
Then fasting – letting go or reducing what we deep-down know is excessive or
illusory or unbalanced.
If we do this practice for the right reason, in the right way, why be gloomy?
There’s everything in the right practice to make Lent a time for smiling.
Source: The World Community for Christian Meditation (http://www.wccm.org)
Today's Daily Reflection (Daily Reflection of Creighton University's Online
by Maureen McCann Waldron, The Collaborative Ministry Office
When I was in grade school, I remember Ash Wednesday as a melancholy day. The
sisters who taught us were unusually somber and whispery to us that day. It felt
like Ash Wednesday, with its marked foreheads and meager meals, signaled the
beginning of a long period of giving up candy – and some feeling that we were
But many decades later, a look at today’s readings changes my perspective and
seems to invite us into a hopeful joy. God invites us to “return to me with your
whole heart” and we ask God in return to “create a clean heart for me and a
steadfast spirit renew within me.”
Rather than being melancholy, Lent invites us into a deep joy, for we are known
by God as imperfect people but we are loved by God as forgiven. The deeply
forgiving love God extends to us is like an invitation to renew our relationship
Yes, it might be a period of simplicity, paring down and clearing away the
things that are getting in the way between us and God. Lent can be a time to
take a clear-eyed look at ourselves and honestly see who we are, just as God
does. But it’s a time of great hope, as we realize how much God longs for a
relationship with us.
That doesn’t mean we focus on us and our failings, but we can look at the way
our lack of freedom gets in the way of our relationships with God. An honest
look at ourselves as flawed creatures of God doesn’t mean we give up. Rather we
can rejoice in knowing that there is nothing we have done, no act or way of
life, no hidden sin so deeply tucked away in our souls, that God does not
forgive in us.
Can we imagine the next six weeks as time to spend with one who loves us so
much, who forgives and comforts us and rejoices in our love? And isn’t that
celebration of love even deeper and more joyful if we have been separated from
God for a while?
Today many of us will have our foreheads marked by a cross of ashes. It is a
shocking symbol of our own mortality and of the sacrifice Jesus made for us with
his death. It is also a public marking that reminds us - and others - of God's
message to us, "I created you for myself and gave you my only son to free you
from sin and death. Even now, I am calling you, drawing you closer to myself so
that someday, I can celebrate with you a never ending banquet of love."
The ashes on our forehead are more than a symbol of our own mortality. They are
a sign of God fighting for our freedom from this world, liberating us from the
clutches of so many things that drag us away from God.
Today Jesus is calling us to himself in an ever-deeper way, inviting us into his
endless forgiveness and asking us to return to his loving embrace. With tears of
joy, we can accept his outstretched arms. When I was a girl my sense of Ash
Wednesday was that we were lost. Now I see that we are found!
First Wednesday of Great Lent
Fifty-Day Gospel Planner
(Read all Gospels during the Great Lent)
the Pharisees also, who were
covetous, heard all these
things: and they derided
he said unto them, Ye are
they which justify
yourselves before men; but
God knoweth your hearts: for
that which is highly
esteemed among men is
abomination in the sight of
law and the prophets were
until John: since that time
the kingdom of God is
preached, and every man
presseth into it.
it is easier for heaven and
earth to pass, than one
little of the law to fail.
putteth away his wife, and
marrieth another, committeth
adultery: and whosoever
marrieth her that is put
away from her husband
Matthew 6:19-34 (KJV)
19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Bible Verse for the Day:
St. Matthew 6:23 - "But if your eyes are bad,
your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is
darkness, how great is that darkness!"
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