Our embrace leads to praise. 

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

 
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. 

Today's Reading

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

 

Intercessions: 

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. 
Amen.

Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

As we reflection writers rotate through about every six weeks (I am just coming off a sabbatical from writing in an effort to recharge my batteries), we all get one during Lent.  Mine hits right about in the middle.

I have a perpetually ambiguous relationship with the season as do, I suspect, many other Catholics.  It slowly builds toward the day I consider the most joyful day of the year:  Easter.  I think I’ve written before about my son’s and my somewhat non-religious (but hardly blasphemous) tradition of a discreet fist bump when Simon Peter goes into the tomb to find it empty with the burial shroud on the ground and the rest of burial dress rolled up neatly in the corner.

And if one were to harbor doubts about the literal accuracy of this account, who would make up details like this?  If it were a fable it would be some generic reference to Jesus rising from the dead.  So as we build toward that day my spirits begin to lift.

But there’s the part of Lent that’s harder for me.  The self-examination required is really difficult if you’re going to do it right.  There’s more to it than going to the parish fish fry and drinking beer (which I happen to have given up this Lent).  I suppose there’s a bit of sacrifice there; perhaps you really wanted a steak and not fish, but realistically that’s not much of a sacrifice — just a tradition.

But let me get back to the self-examination part.  I’m at the point in my life where I can take a good long look backwards but I’ve been blessed with good health so probably I can figure on a good long look forwards.  We all stand on that uncertain path that we call our lives.  We’ve all done things that we aren’t proud of and we get 40 days to examine them, and I hope I do a good job.  But the real joy — at least for me — is when I can muster the resolve to truly leave them behind and bound towards Easter with a heart that genuinely wants to do better.

by Colleen Chiacchere
Creighton University's Education Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

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

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