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Daily Reflections for Lent

Saturday, 5th Week of                                                                                     Lent March 28th
Kate Quinn C ‘17

God The Healer

“I will take the children of Israel from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.” Ez 37:21

The Lord is gentle and good. In today's readings, He speaks to our broken hearts. No matter the point we are at in our journey to Heaven, the reality is that we are hurt by sin. It tears down all that is good. God, in His mercy, recognizes our brokenness and longs to heal it. In the reading from Ezekiel, He speaks about His desire to unite His people and bring them back to Himself. He says, "I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy, and cleanse them so that they may be my people and I may be their God." (Ez 37:23) In the Psalm, our hearts sing about the Lord being our shepherd (because in the depths of our hearts we know that the Lord is our shepherd and is good). In the Gospel reading, Caiphas, the high priest, "prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.”(Jn 11:22)

Jesus came to earth to heal our broken hearts through His death. As sin hurts and breaks us, His blood heals so much more. The shedding of His blood from the cross fills all of the holes in our hearts. Do not run from His healing love. It is the only thing which can satisfy us. It is the only thing which can give us peace. It is the only thing which can heal us. As Lent comes to a close and we enter into the Easter season, let Him heal our broken heart.

Lord, cleanse my heart in Your love to better prepare me for what You have in store. Amen.

Friday, 5th Week of Lent                                                                                       March 27th
Matt Palardy C ‘15

With God In Your Corner, You Will Triumph

“But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.” Jer 20:11

When talking about God nowadays, much of the focus is on His love and goodness, which is appropriate. After all, God’s mercy is one of His most beautiful attributes. However, to truly appreciate His mercy we must learn of His justice. God is called the LORD of hosts for a reason: He is the commander of an angelic army. He holds all power in His hands. In the battle against sin, Christ has already conquered; the war is already won over sin and death. That’s a lot of power. But with all this power, what does God fight for? The answer, as it happens, is you and me.

With all the power in the world, God pursues us, as He wants us for His own. This is not to say He’s chasing us down like in some action movie, rather, He pursues us with the gentle and unyielding determination of one courting their beloved. This gentleness goes hand in hand with His power, for to be gentle at all is to be delicate in using one’s power. God is jealous for our hearts, and wants that no other thing should possess us. He wants only to be loved by us in our words and actions. Once He has us, He will fend off all who attempt to pick us up. If we simply call upon Him, He will fight our enemies for us. God hears the call of those in distress, and He will deliver us from evil and rebuke the enemies of temptation, sin, and the devil. Remember to call upon Him when persecuted and alone, for He will defend us.

Lord, come to our aid amidst persecution; deliver us from evil, and protect us from those who would harm our souls. Amen.

Thursday, 5th Week of Lent                                                                 March 26th
Anne O'Neill C ‘17

Finding God In Everyday Life

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek His presence continually. Remember the wonderful works He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He has uttered.” Ps 105:4-5

Sometimes I find that I am not thinking of God in my everyday life. I know He’s there but am I actively acknowledging it? When I get a good grade, do I think of Him and what He has blessed me with or do I thank myself? When I am sitting in my room with nothing to do, do I converse with Him or do I go online and distract myself? I should constantly be seeking God in His endless glory! I should be thanking Him for all He has given me, getting to know Him better, building a stronger relationship with the One who loves me. When I do remember to take the time to talk to Him and to tell Him about my day as I would a friend, I do not feel as though I have wasted my time. Instead, I feel full of joy. Joy that I was able to spend time with Him. When I struggle, when things are bad, He has always been and will always be there for me. Should I only turn to Him when things are tough? No, I should constantly recall what He has done for me, both in times of struggle and times of joy. He will never turn His back on me, so why would I ignore Him? The Lord loves and cares for me without stipulations.

Lord, thank You for all You have given me. Please help me to recognize You in the everyday, and come to You; both when I need to and when I don’t. Amen.

Wednesday, 5th Week of Lent                                                                              March 25th
The Annunciation of the Lord
Lori Stewart Dir. of the Grotto

When Will I Have Time for God?

“Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” Lk 1:37

Do the will of God? May it be done to me right now? But I have an important project at work, my mother is not doing well and she needs my help, and my husband just bought his own business… how can I do the will of God right now?!

I doubt Mary had the same daily routine as me, but I am confident she had some things going on in her life when the angel Gabriel visited her. She was betrothed and about to live with her husband, Joseph. She had to be doing something for this life change! God must have truly been with Mary just as Gabriel told her, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you”(Lk 1:28). Other-wise, I don’t know how she had the strength to accept God’s will to conceive in her womb and bear a son (remember, Gabriel did not ask Mary “would you mind bearing a son for God?”). Mary quickly accepted God’s will to be the deliverer of salvation to all the world!

Do you know we can be just like Mary? We may not receive a visit from the angel Gabriel, but we do get daily signs and messages from God. They might be in a conversation with a coworker or a comment made by a stranger. However, we won’t receive these messages unless we stop our inward thinking. We need to let go of our worldly trouble, trust in Jesus, and most importantly, give ourselves to God as Mary did. If you listen, the messages become clearer and soon become as loud as a trumpet. Our day-to-day life will become less of a burden but more of an opportunity to do God’s will “…for nothing will be impossible for God.” (Lk. 1: 37)

God, I want to give You all my worries and ask You to lovingly lead and guide me each day. Please empower me to open my ears so that I can hear Your still, small voice. Amen.


Tuesday, 5th Week of Lent                                                                   March 24th
Andrew McCarthy C ‘16


“So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.” Jn 8:28

Jesus came as God’s ambassador so that we may open our hearts to the Lord. However, He is not the same as the numerous prophets before Him. Though fully human, Christ is not fully of this world in the same sense that Moses or Elijah were. Jesus did not just come as a holy man who spread God’s word, He is God. This is something that must have been extremely challenging to grasp for the first century Jews. This is why Christ uses three different expressions to explain His identity. Christ refers to Himself as “I AM,” in the same way God did for Moses. Jesus wanted the Jews of the time and all those after Him to realize just who He was and what He came to do. He came into a world in which He did not belong. He came to reveal God’s love for us and open our path to salvation. Christ is not just the messenger of God; He is also the message itself and our salvation.

Dear Lord, thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son. Help us to always remember who Christ is and the salvation He brought. Though we live in this imperfect world, remind us of Your perfection and give us hope that through Your Son we can achieve salvation. Amen.

Monday, 5th Week of Lent                                                                                     March 23rd
Mike Herlihey C ‘16

Put Down Those Judgment Stones

“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jn 8:7

I heard a joke (I don’t remember by whom) given in a homily about this Gospel passage once. Jesus says to the crowd that whoever is without sin, throw a stone at her. There is silence. No one moves. Then all of a sudden one pebble goes flying at the woman. Then Jesus yells, “Mom!”

Our society today is paranoid about being judged for our sins. Many of us are quick to judge other people’s mistakes, yet tell others not to judge our sins. Jesus shows us perfectly that instead of judging others, we must love them first. This is a message Pope Francis has emphasized time and time again. However, before we can properly love others, we must first love Jesus. To properly love Jesus, we must rid ourselves of sin, for our sin pushes us away from Jesus. Imagine the silence after Jesus tells those around the woman to reflect on their own sin. The silence is only broken by the sound of the stones hitting the ground one by one as the people come to realize their sins. Dear Jesus, help us to cease judging others and instead look inward to see how we can reject sin and grow closer to You.

In John 8:10 Jesus says “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” I smile to myself because Jesus is being a little sarcastic. He uses humor to calm her fears down and lighten the mood. Then in 8:11, He says, “Neither do I condemn you.” Jesus is not allowing adultery. He still acknowledges that she has sinned, for He follows this last sentence with, “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” Jesus is merciful in His forgiveness of her, yet He is still just in His acknowledgement of her sin. Jesus help us to balance mercy with justice.

Lord, allow me to temper my judgmental thoughts and give people chances for redemption. Amen.

Fifth Sunday of Lent                                                                                  March 22nd
Prof. Dana Sauers
Institute for Leadership

Grace’s Window

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You.” Ps 51:12-13

Being reared in the Catholic tradition is a blessing, most especially because it is a faith that provides sacraments— the resources that keep us in the race that St. Paul references. In Psalm 51: 12-13, the poet emphatically asks God to create a clean heart for him and to renew within him a steadfast spirit. The sacrament of reconciliation is a physical and spiritual ritual that allows just that. It is God’s answer to the poet’s request. All of the baggage of our day-to-day existence can be shed so easily there. Where else can modern people go to entirely rid themselves of all sin, guilt, shame? Have you ever considered the posture of so many? Heavy weights and burdens keep their shoulders stooped, their eyes fo-cused on the ground. To be unburdened through the spiritual shower of reconciliation allows a space within you for renewal to begin. Suddenly you are looking upward. You are lighter. Consider yourself to be a window. By removing all the smudge marks left by sin, you become a translucently clear vehicle of God’s grace and joy! Pope Francis says, “And the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Ours is of having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst.” When people ask me what I wish to offer most at The Mount, I respond truly by saying the most important contribution I can make is to be a daily bearer of joy.

Dear Jesus, by Your cross and resurrection You have gifted us salvation, eternally free of sin and sorrow. Allow us to eagerly seek reconciliation this Lenten season so we may more readily act as Your holy vehicle, Grace’s window, manifesting the irrepressible joy that only comes from You. Amen.

Saturday, 4th Week of Lent                                                                                  March 21st
Dan Byrne C ‘16


“Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.” 1 Pt 5:8

In a word filled with so much doubt and hesitation, it is easy to find ourselves confused or even fearful of the truth. With a society that is constantly questioning and trying to defame our beliefs, one will often question, “How am I to overcome these challenges of doubt?” The key to clarity is courage. In order to overcome the devil and his temptations of doubt, we must stand up and be brave. Whether that means standing up against adversity, going to confession after a long time, or even saying one last prayer before going to bed, they are all ways of being courageous. Showing courage and standing up for your beliefs is one of the best ways we can praise God the Father. So we all need to ask ourselves what exactly do we fear? What are some things that you doubt? How have fear and the devil driven us away from God?

Heavenly Father, grant me the strength to overcome any obstacles of fear or anxiety. Allow me to be more like Your Son Jesus, and to continue to grow closer to You, in spite of any obstacles. Show me the way and the truth and to be able to be courageous in the face of doubt, because without You, we lack the strength or bravery to endure.

Lord, help us be vigilant against the negativity in our lives, placed there by the devil. Amen.

Friday, 4th Week of Lent                                                      March 20th
Kyle Ambrose
FOCUS Missionary

God's Plan For Us

"No one laid a hand upon Him, because His hour had not yet come." Jn 7:30

From before the creation of the world, God has a unique plan for all our lives, down to the very timing of everything that happens to us. Many times throughout the Gospels, we hear of certain things either happening or not happening to Jesus because "His hour had not yet come." (Jn 7:30) And so it is the same for us. We should rest assured that, no matter the situation in which we find ourselves, be it suffering or comfort, sickness or health, richness or poverty, God's loving Hand is actively involved in all that we experience in life. The Catechism teaches that "God...freely created man to make him share in His own blessed life." (CCC 1) Will God ever allow us to face a situation that cannot be used by us towards this end of eternity with our Lord? Will we ever be abandoned by our Creator and Father? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding "No!" "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted," (Ps 34:19) and "The Lord is the redeemer of the souls of His servants." (Ps 24:23) The Father knows what will best profit the souls of His children for salvation.

Father, You know what is best for my soul and for my salvation. Give me the grace to see Your loving Hand in all that I face in life, and to abandon myself to Your Will in all that I do. Amen.

Thursday, 4th Week of Lent                                                  March 19th
Solemnity of St. Joseph                                                       
Dr. Christine Blackshaw
Professor of Foreign Languages

Taking God At His Word

“When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do:
he took his wife to his home.” Mt 16:24

Would we fault Joseph if he had waited a few days, or if he had needed another sign, before believing that his virgin bride was pregnant with a child conceived by the Holy Spirit? Probably not.

However, Scripture tells us that Joseph did not request another sign, nor did he delay his obedience. Rather, “When Joseph woke up he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” (Mt 1:24)

We should not understate the immensity of Joseph’s leap of faith. Mary was graced with a certainty about her mission: she was carrying the child, she felt Him growing inside her, and she knew she had not conceived the child with a man. Joseph, by contrast, had no such certainty. There was no DNA test to prove that the Holy Spirit was the father. There was no way for Mary to prove she was not lying. What Mary told him, what the angel told him, defied the laws of nature. It was entirely unbelievable. Despite this, Joseph believed the angel; he trusted God at His word, and did not delay in obeying Him. Are we always so trusting and obedient when God communicates with us?

Father, build in our hearts the grace to trust and obey You as Joseph did. Saint Joseph, pray for our hearts to be open to God’s word in our lives. Amen.

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