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Great Lent Today

Day 30 - Fifth Tuesday of the Great Lent

Opening Prayer:

May the venerable exercises of holy devotion
shape the hearts of your faithful, O Lord,
to welcome worthily the Paschal Mystery
and proclaim the praises of your salvation.
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)
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; Psalm 46; John 5:1-16

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: Perea: What Camels Can't Do

Daily Meditation:

Our embrace leads to praise.
This is second part of Lent.
We begin to feel the power of the Fourth Gospel.
The "forces" that are opposed in the gospel
have everything to do with the forces at work in my heart.
He is clearly about to embrace his passage - his passover - from death to life.
This paschal mystery is what we are preparing to celebrate.

As we grow in love and compassion for what Jesus is facing for us,
we ask to be prepared to embrace his way, his path, the pattern of his dying and rising.
We ask that we would be prepared to proclaim this gift to others, with great joy

"It was because Jesus did things such as this on the Sabbath that they began to persecute him."
For me.

Come to the waters, all who thirst;
though you have no money,
come and drink with joy.
Isaiah 55:1

Today's Daily Reflection

by Patrick Borchers
School of Law, Creighton University

As I am writing this we are early in Lent, with a considerable snowstorm here in Omaha. As you read this, we will be on the downhill run to Easter and I'm hoping the snow has melted.

I confess to having a perpetually ambiguous relationship with Lent. At least here in the Northern Hemisphere, it begins in the lonely days of winter, and the thought of making sacrifices besides those imposed on us by our climate has never been an easy thing for me. But then again the relatively trivial dietary restrictions I impose on myself are a tiny sacrifice next to the suffering much of the world endures, so I feel petty for complaining, even silently to myself.

Much of my difficulty comes from viewing Lent in negative terms. I'm NOT doing this and I'm NOT doing that. It helped me some years ago when a Jesuit friend of mine told me that Lent is a word for spring. (Of course, again, only those of us in the Northern Hemisphere can take that literally, as south of the equator you're in the tail end of summer and heading towards early fall.) But the notion of spring helped me to think of it as a chance to prepare my soul and spirit like tilling the earth for planting. Each Easter is a perpetual victory over death as we are restored and the green shoots of rejuvenation poke up from the ground in search of the sunlight above.

So if you haven't had a "good" Lent so far, it's never too late. It's never too late to prepare for the joy of Easter through, yes, the joy of Lent.

Preface for Meditation:
by Prince Mathew

When the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, confused and disoriented, and wishing they were back in their familiar huts at Egypt, God made his presence known to them through a pillar of fire at night and a cloud by day. This light not only brought them assurance of safety and care, but it literally guided them through a trackless wasteland. Around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Festival of Lights, Jesus proclaims that he is the "light of the world". For eight nights the great candelabras which stood in the Temple courtyard lit the Jerusalem skyline with a blaze of dazzling light. Jesus' statement very likely came at the end of the Festival when the great lights where extinguished. In so many words, Jesus says he is the one, true light which no one can extinguish or diminish (John 1:4-5). He is light not only for God's chosen people Israel, but for all people and nations as well.

The word light was especially associated with God. The Lord is my light (Psalm 27:1). The Lord will be your everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19). When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me (Micah 7:8). His light both exposes the darkness of sin in us, which is hidden from others, and heals our sinful infirmities as well. Jesus' light also produces abundant life and fruit in us. Just as natural life depends on light (without it nothing could live or grow), so the light of heaven produces spiritual life in those who receive it. The light which Jesus gives enables us to walk freely and confidently without stumbling in the darkness of sin and disbelief. His light warms our heart to the truth of God's love and it opens our vision to the reality of God's kingdom.

Bible Reading Passages:
Fifth Tuesday of Great Lent

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



Gospel Readings:

Mark 3:1-12 (KJV)

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,

And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.

For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.

And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.

Mark 5:1-20 (KJV)

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

Bible Verse of the day:

Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." - St. Mark 3:11


God the Father has given us his only Son, the Word made human,
to be our food and our life. Let us thank him and pray:
May the word of Christ dwell among us in all its richness.

Help us this Lenten season to listen more frequently to your word,
- that we may celebrate the solemnity of Easter with greater love for Christ, our paschal sacrifice.
May your Holy Spirit be our teacher,
- that we may encourage those in doubt and error to follow what is true and good.
Enable us to enter more deeply into the mystery of your Anointed One,
- that our lives may reveal him more effectively.
Purify and renew your Church in this time of salvation,
- that it may give an ever greater witness to you.

Closing Prayer:

Joyful praise in Lent?
I'm not sure I always feel that.
I ask you to help me prepare to understand
and embrace the paschal mystery in my life.
I don't always see the beauty and mystery of this season
and often I run from the pain.
Help me to see how your saving grace
and your loving touch in my life
can fill me with joyful praise of the salvation
you have sent to me.

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

Source: Portions from: Creighton University Praying Lent

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