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Daily Reflections for Lent

Holy Saturday                                                                                          April 4th
Cathy Graupner
Admin. Asst. Residence Life


Come to the Quiet

“Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.” Mk 16:6

“Do not make an idol of any temporal reality.” [JPII Homily at Giants Stadium, October 5th, 1995] Today’s readings remind us that it is truly “God the Father” that is in total control. All that is good, all that we see day in and day out, is a Gift from Heaven. Often times when we fill our days with earthly debris that has been created to please us, such as music played so loud you literally have to give your ears a rest, watching an award winning television show and without realizing becoming numb to the violent acts that have consumed entertainment. How often do we check email, texts, update our Facebook status, Tweet, and it goes on. It has become the thief of our souls.

Let us take this day into the quiet. Watch the sun come up, listen to the birds singing, and if it is raining, listen. Listen to the music Heaven has provided. Understanding the importance of that “Quiet,” take a walk or drive to the nearest Catholic Church on Good Friday. Walk in and notice how “Quiet” it truly is, because Jesus is not present in the Tabernacle. The doors are open, and He is not there. Meditate on the readings of this day, and realize the gift God the Father handed us in His son Jesus.

We spend so much time of every day getting the mandatory events of the day completed: checking and answering our email, completing an assignment, taking care of family, preparing a meal and while reading this, you are probably thinking of something more you need to do. STOP! Go now to the quietest place you know. Go deep within your soul, remembering that your soul lives forever. Recognize your soul, nurture it, and thank our Lord for the many gifts He has given each of us. Thank Him for the sun that rose this morning, and thank Him for His Son that will rise tomorrow morning to refresh our hearts, mind and soul. Thank You Jesus!

Jesus, I pray as we enter into this Easter Season, we never lose sight of the gift of Your love for us, and that we continue to recognize our souls will one day be with You forever in Eternity. Amen.

Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord                                                    April 3rd
Dawn Walsh
Asst. Dir. Conferences


Stay With Me Lord, Lest I Betray You

“Put your sword back into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave Me?” Jn 18:11

How perfectly Jesus loves us. He comes into the garden of our souls “to a place where there was a garden,” time and again to find repose and often we receive Him there. The Scripture tells us Judas knew the place because he had often met Jesus there with the other disciples. He was no stranger to spending time with the Master. Jesus, knowing what Judas and the soldiers were about to do, reaches out to them to remind them of their life’s purpose, to find God. “Whom are you looking for?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am He.” I am, God, Savior, King, Servant, Friend, Creator, I am the one for whom you are made, for whom you are searching, I Am He. Look at what Jesus does, He avails Himself to them. He does not hide, He does not flee, He is not too busy for them, rather, He is waiting for them. He waits for them to apprehend Him, and I am to do the same. But I betray Him; I seek my fill elsewhere in the passing things of this world.

Stay with me Lord, because in the midst of the Paschal Mystery I can not yet see the Resurrection, I need more faith. Stay with me Lord, because often I distrust Your promises and settle for less, I need more hope. Stay with me Lord, because without You I am selfish and uncaring, I need more charity. Stay with me Lord and fill me with Your promise of mercy for You are all good and You will the perfect good for me, Your very self.

My Jesus, I love You, make me love You more. I trust You, increase my trust. I surrender, help me to surrender more. Amen.
 

Holy Thursday                                                                                                  April 2nd
Anna Filosa C ‘17


Faith In Action

“‘If I therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.’” Jn 13:14-15

On Holy Thursday, Christians have a tradition of the washing of the feet t to emulate what Jesus did the night before He died. In Jesus’s time, that was the job of the lowest of the low, yet here is Jesus, the Son of God, displaying the ultimate act of humility. Jesus humbled Himself to serve others and holds us to the same standard. That’s a pretty intense call to action when you think about it. It can be really hard these days to “wash one another’s feet” because we live in a society that glorifies individual pride. Even Lent can sometimes get us caught up in how much we’re praying or giving up. While prayer and fasting areimportant, we can’t forget about putting our faith into practice in our daily lives.

Let us all take some time during this last little bit of Lent to serve others and make Jesus smile. It can be as simple as helping someone pick up the papers they dropped or bring their packages back to their dorm. It could mean swallowing your pride and acknowledging fault or avoiding excuses, or it could mean giving up a Saturday to give blood or to clear out your closet and donate your old clothes. Whatever service means to you, challenge your-self in the way that Jesus knows you can. I’ve found that the times my heart has been the fullest and my faith is the most alive is when I’m thinking less of myself and more of those around me. It has a way of making m happier. As Mother Teresa once said, “Faith in action is love, and love in action is service. By transforming that faith into living acts of love, we put ourselves in contact with God Himself, with Jesus our Lord.”

Heavenly Father, show me how You want me to put my faith into action, and give me the opportunities and the humility to do so. Amen

Wednesday of Holy Week                                                                   April 1st
Faith Berard C ‘17


What's In It For Me?

“What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?' They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand Him over." Mt 26:15

When I was reflecting on this passage, it brought so many memories from my life that were hard to face; times that I desired recognition more than I desired God's love. I wanted to be known as a person that loved Jesus more than I wanted to love Jesus with my whole being. It's hard to think about how easy it is to fall into these feelings and desires. I feel like even if we don't say this out loud as Judas did, it's common to think these things and even pray for them. We want to be recognized for living the right way, but that comes as a gift from God when we come to Him selflessly. God will give you what you need most when you need it trust in His plan and He will present Himself to you in ways and relationships that will brighten your life.

During these last days of Lent, let us work on increasing our trust in God through prayer. Let us focus on not taking advantage of Jesus offering His whole self for us by looking for praise or recognition, but believe that the gifts that we receive are greater than we could possibly imagine.

Lord Jesus, help me to give myself wholly and authentically to You. Help me to trust that I will receive You in ways that will strengthen my relationship with You and Your followers. Amen.
 

Tuesday of Holy Week                                                                                        March 31st
Veronica Halbur
FOCUS Missionary


Will You Say Yes?

“I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Is 49:6

You have been chosen from birth and named for a specific task; you are called to share Christ with the world. Maybe you are inclined to question this call, to wonder if you are actually qualified. However, look back to the birth of Christ and realize that God has never relied on qualification. Rather, He first depended on a young girl to bring His Son into the world. Mary, when only a young girl, gave the first “yes” for humanity; she joyfully brought the Son of God into the world. Mary first gave God His human body; the human body that would be offered for the salvation of the world. Mary’s “yes” first brought God into the world so that He could suffer and die and save us.

In contrast to Mary’s immediate “yes,” John, in the Gospel today, relays to us the failure of the apostles. Jesus was betrayed and denied by His closest friends! Yet, God still worked through all of this for a greater plan. And when Peter returned back to Jesus, full of regret for His denial, Christ welcomed Peter back with open arms. Peter fell, yes, but he got back up and united with Mary’s yes to bring Christ into the world as well. Today, Peter and Mary and all the original disciples are no longer physically withus. So, who is bringing Christ into the world? God is calling you today. Like Mary did, we must give Christ a body in the world. As the great Saint Teresa of Avila once wrote: “Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours, yours are the eyes with which He looks with compassion on this world, yours are the feet with which He walks to do good, yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world.” Will you embrace your call today? Will you be His servant?

Jesus, give me the grace, strength, and courage to be like Peter and get up when I fall and unite with Mary to say yes to Your call and carry Your message of salvation to the world. Amen.
 

Monday of Holy Week                                                                        March 30th
Joe Lebherz
Dir. of Professional Studies


“Leave Her Alone”: The Sufficiency Of Love

“You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” Jn 12:8

In the first reading today from Psalms (Psalm 27:1,2,3,13-14), we find a poetic expression of unconditional trust in the Lord – “The Lord is my light and salvation; whom should I fear?” This reading complements today’s Gospel reading, where Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, whom Jesus has only recently raised from the dead, has lavished an expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus. Jesus has returned to Bethany in advance of the Passover festival which is to occur that week in Jerusalem.

It was Mary’s deep faith in and insight into the presence of the all-powerful God in the person of Jesus that touched Jesus when He came to the place of Lazarus’ burial, and moved Him to make evident the power of God to overcome the power of death by raising Lazarus from his tomb and calling him forth to live again. Mary’s faith stands in contrast to the growing concerns of the Pharisees, who fear that Jesus will draw even more Jews to His teachings, and to the penurious and petty concerns of Judas at the lost value of the oil used by Mary to perfume the feet of Jesus. Against Judas’ lack of faith and insight, Jesus offers the rebuke: “Leave her alone.” (Jn 12:7) For Mary sees with eyes and a heart of faith, and her love is sufficient. This sufficiency of love was echoed by St. Augustine when he said, “Love, and do what you will.”

While the scene anticipates the death and embalming of Jesus’ body during the coming Passover, the actions of Mary and the words of Jesus should also pierce our hearts and remind us of God’s unconditional love for us, as the Holy Week activities once again reveal.

Father, grant us the simplicity and faith to experience the power of Your love, and to love in response to everyone with whom we engage this day and every day. Amen.
 

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord                                                                March 29th
Rev. Brian Nolan
Chaplain and Dir. of Campus Ministry


Were You There?

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross.” Phil 2:8

One of the most memorable hymns sung during Holy Week is the African-American spiritual, “Were you there?” Each verse invites us deeper into the Way of the Cross: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?” And the verse that leaves many speechless, “Were you there when the sun refused to shine?” It continues, “Oh, oh, oh, oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when the sun refused to shine?”

Palm Sunday is the feast that ushers in Holy Week inviting each person to reflect on the mystery as if we were there. What begins with cheers and palms, quickly turns to jeers and the wood of the cross. It’s one thing to have God dwell with us, it’s another to have Him display the greatest love ever known. In fulfilling His mission, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would offer Himselfas the Lamb sacrificed for us and for our salvation. He came to save us from our sins.

Will we allow ourselves to hear the shouts of the crowds, stand next to Him at His trials before Pilate and Herod, witness the scourging and mocking, see the crown of thorns and glimpse the weight of the Cross? Will we imagine ourselves watching as Simon and Veronica lighten His burden with another shoulder to bear the weight of the wooden beams and a veil to wipe His face showing compassion in His Passion? Will we stand at the foot of the Cross when He is stripped of His garments, nailed to a tree and spreads His arms of love wide to embrace the whole world and become the sign of victory?

Each one of us is there at the Sacrifice of the Mass where we become mystically present at the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Through meditating on the Passion and Death of our Lord, we can more fully appreciate the gift of Christ who won’t be held back by the grave. Although the sun would “refuse to shine,” it would not hold back the Son who will rise again.

O Lord, may our pondering of the Way of the Cross lead us to a greater hope in the One who shines forever in Heaven and in our lives. Amen.

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