Renew us and prepare us.

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Turn our hearts to you, eternal Father,
and grant that, seeking always the one thing necessary
and carrying out 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, for ever and ever.
 

Today's Reading

Daily Meditation: 

Turn our hearts to you. 
The Saturdays of Lent have a grateful and uplifting tone to them.
 
Our lesson today reminds us of the covenant God made long ago:
 
you be my people
 
and I will be your God.

In the new covenant, without condition, 
God is faithful to us, even if we are not.
 
Jesus calls us to a new way of being -
 
loving others as we have been loved -
 
which includes loving those who do not love us.
 
We are to be as pure in our love,
 
as God is pure in loving us.

God loved the world so much, 
he gave us his only Son, 
that all who believe in him 
might have eternal life. 

John 3:16

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: 

Loving God, 
Sometimes my heart 
turns in every direction 
except towards you. 
Please help me 
to turn my heart toward you, 
to gaze upon you in trust 
and to seek your kingdom with all of my heart. 
Soften my hardened heart 
so that I might love others 
as a way to glorify and worship you. 
Grant me this 
with the ever-present guidance of your spirit.

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

 
 
Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

Matthew 41-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

Jesus message told by Matthew is very powerful. As I reflect on unconditional acts of love, forgiveness, acceptance, and support of others; I recognize how the give and take for each can be experienced as strong, powerful or fragile and exposed.  I know I can be labeled as someone who did not show love, did not forgive, failed to support others when it was important to them. My immediate explanation would be “I did not know, I did not realize, I did not mean it, I did not see”. I imagine others would say the same.  So how can these labyrinths of feelings and actions be reconciled?

Reconciliation, staying tuned to others, and keeping my “lens” (mind and heart) on path occurs only if I pause and increase my quiet time with God. In my silence God quiets my misgivings, feelings of inadequacy and tells me I must give thanks for ALL encounters; to recognize that all time with others is precious and when I extend forgiveness it is God’s divine gift.

When I am successful it becomes a ‘game changer’ for me.  I am able to deflect the hurts, disappointments, rejections….and recognize something deeper is going on. My heart extends a love and caring that is not ordinary, an understanding that is lasting; and when it is received….it meets no resistance and the love I feel is extended to others. I know we both move to another level of being with each other. A deeper spiritual awareness is acknowledged …. “Thanks be to God”.

For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

by Cindy Costanzo
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

 
Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

and

Visual Bible Alive