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Friday, second week of Lent

March 6, 2015

JMJ

Blessed Friday!

Entrance Antiphon:
In You, O Lord, I put my trust, let me never be put to shame;
release me from the snare they have hidden for me, for You indeed are my refuge.

Collect:
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, purifying us by the sacred practise of penance,
You may lead us in sincerity of heart
to attain the holy things to come.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28 (Joseph’s jealous brothers wanted to kill him,
but sold him into slavery instead)
Psalm 105:16-21 “Remember the marvels the Lord has done”
+Matthew 21:33-46 (the murderous tenants of the vineyard will be ousted)

Joseph’s brothers
and the tenants
sought advancement
through their crime.

They didn’t know
that they had played
into the hands
of the Divine.

God’s plan
will not be thwarted.

Though we kill
the one He sends,
He turns our sin
to our advantage
when we willingly amend!

Salvation cannot in the end be defeated;
but we will surely defeat ourselves
in attempting to defeat our salvation.
-Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis

Do I have the humility to receive salvation from God
through the very things of which I’m most rightly ashamed?

Thursday, second week of Lent

March 5, 2015

JMJ

Blessed Thursday!

Entrance Antiphon:
Test me, O God, and know my thoughts.
See that my path is not wicked, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Collect:
O God, who delight in innocence and restore it,
direct the hearts of Your servants to Yourself,
that, caught up in the fire of Your Spirit,
we may be found steadfast in faith,
and effective in good works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Jeremiah 17:5-10 (trust in man brings a curse; trust in God brings blessing)
Psalm 1:1-6 “Blessed are they who hope in the Lord”
+Luke 16:19-31 (the story of Lazarus & the rich man)

I put my trust
in human things,

in food and drink and luxury.
They blinded me
to what I had become
until death
stripped them all away
and I was left,
a bleak and barren bush
as fuel to the flames.

What will I have to show for my life when death strips away the things that seem so important now?
Am I storing up treasure in Heaven? Am I becoming treasure for Heaven?

Wednesday, second week of Lent

March 4, 2015

JMJ

Blessed St. Casimir’s Day!

You can find his story here.

Entrance Antiphon:
In your strength, O Lord, the just one rejoices;
how greatly your salvation makes him glad!
You have granted him his soul’s desire

Collect:
Almighty God, to serve You is to reign;
grant that, with the help of Saint Casimir’s intercession,
we may constantly serve You in holiness and justice.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Philippians 3:8-14 (I consider everything loss, that I might gain Christ)
Psalm 15:2-5 “The just one shall live on Your holy mountain, O Lord”
+John 15:9-17 (Remain in My love by keeping My commandments)

I had it all.

I threw it to the dogs
and raced away,
unhindered by
its weight,
in hot pursuit
of Jesus Christ,
Who’s leading upward,
to high calling,
challenging me
to join in
with what He’s doing
as a savior,
straining toward
the highest love.

Do I pursue Christ as zealously as St. Paul?
What’s weighing me down in the race?

Tuesday, Second Week of Lent (St. Katharine Drexel)

March 3, 2015

JMJ

Blessed St. Katherine Drexel’s Day!
StKatharineDrexel1
You can find her story here.

Entrance Antiphon:
Here is a wise virgin, from among the number of the prudent,
who went forth with lighted lamp to meet Christ.

Collect:
God of love,
You called St. Katharine Drexel
to teach the message of the Gospel
and to bring the life of the Eucharist
to the Native American and African American peoples
by her prayers and example,
enable us to work for justice
among the poor and oppressed,
and keep us undivided in love
in the eucharistic community of Your Church.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20 (let’s set things right)
Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23 “To the upright I will show the saving power of God”
Matthew 23:1-12 (leaders must be humble servants)

If I set things right
for others,
God will set things right
for me.

Nor can I blame
a bad example
from corrupt authority
when God has
safeguarded
their teaching
with infallibility.

To heed their words
despite their works
is training
in humility.

What needs can I realistically address in the lives of those around me?
Do I follow the divinely-protected teachings of the Church despite scandal?

Monday, second week of Lent

March 2, 2015

JMJ

Blessed St. Patrick’s Day!

We’re a little more than one-quarter of the way through our Lenten retreat.
How’s it going?

Entrance Antiphon:
Redeem me, O Lord, and have mercy on me.
My foot stands on level ground;
I will bless the Lord in the assembly.

Collect:
O God who have taught us
to chasten our bodies
for the healing of our souls,
enable us, we pray,
to abstain from all sins,
and strengthen our hearts
to carry out Your loving commands.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Daniel 9:4-10 (Daniel confesses his people’s sin and begs forgiveness)
Psalm 79:8-13 “Lord, do not deal with us as our sins deserve”
+Luke 6:36-38 (as you give and forgive, so shall you receive and be forgiven)

When I enlarge my heart
to have compassion
on my foe
then it can hold
much more
that comes from God.

His gifts come down
good measure,
packed together,
shaken down,
and overflowing.

But they cannot get in
a heart shut tight.

every sin is more hurtful to the sinner
than to the sinned against.
~St. Augustine

Does my heart overflow the way God’s does?
Do I expect God to forgive me even though I refuse to forgive others?

Second Sunday of Lent

March 1, 2015

JMJ

Blessed little Easter!

Entrance Antiphon:
Of You my heart has spoken: Seek His Face.
It is Your Face, O Lord, that I seek;
hide not Your Face from me.
Or:
Remember Your compassion, O Lord,
and Your merciful love, for they are from of old.
Let not our enemies rejoice over us.
Redeem us, O God of Israel, from all our distress.

Collect:
O God, who have commanded us
to listen to Your beloved Son,
be pleased, we pray,
to nourish us inwardly by Your word,
that, with spiritual sight made pure,
we may rejoice to behold Your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Genesis 22: 1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18 (Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac)
Psalm 116: 10, 15-19 “I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living”
Romans 8:31-34 (God is for us. Who can be against us?)
Mark 9:2-10 (the Transfiguration)

When Abraham
tied up his son

and raised the sacrificial knife
he proved his love
for God
beyond a doubt
and he was blessed
abundantly.

Can I do less
when God lets fall
the curse of death
upon His well-beloved Son
for me?

Does my heart bleed for God the Father the way it does for Abraham?
Do I bless God as eagerly as He blessed Abraham?

Saturday, first week of Lent

February 28, 2015

JMJ

Blessed Ember Saturday!

Entrance Antiphon:
The law of the Lord is perfect;
it revives the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are steadfast;
they give wisdom to the simple.

Collect:
Turn our hearts to You, eternal Father,
and grant that, seeking always the one thing necessary
and carrying out the works of charity,
we may be dedicated to Your worship.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Deuteronomy 26:16-19 (you have chosen God and He has chosen you, for holiness)
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8 “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord”
+Matthew 5:43-48 (love your enemies as God loves His)

What is the goal
I’m aiming for?

Am I content
to just “get by”
or have I set my heart
upon the prize
that God
designed for me?

I’m made
to be like Him.

Do I aspire
to His Cross?

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