Ezekiel 18:21-28; Matthew 5:20-26
I’m always a little taken aback when I read scripture readings like today…. The reading from Ezekiel seems so harsh and scary and yet the message is clear, “do what is right and just.” I am reminded of my need to pay attention to what God has told us and not to confuse civil law with God’s law(s). I thought about the death penalty when reading Ezekiel and how imposing this civil law defies God’s call for allowing people, who have committed grave acts of violence, to come to accept responsibility for their actions; to ask for forgiveness and then to choose to live according to God’s laws.
Jesus asks us to pray, “Ask … Seek … Knock …” There is a persistence in this request of Jesus. But we frankly reflect on the distraction that many times we have prayed and our prayers do not seem to be answered!
Firstly, sometimes our prayers are answered by a heavenly reason as a “NO!” Reflect on what parents need to do when adolescents ask for permission for something that the parents know will not be good for them. Perhaps God is answering our prayers with a ‘no’ in that same sense.
Jonah 3:1-10; Luke 11:29-32
"When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do them; he did not carry it out." -- Jonah 3 10.
What an extraordinary sentence! It did not hit me until I had read the passage from Jonah six or seven times. Then it stopped me cold.
God . . . repented!
I have never, ever thought of God repentant. I always associated repentance with one in need of God's forgiveness and grace. The notion of God considering his love for the Ninevites, their response to Jonah and deciding that no, after all, he would not punish them somehow brings me closer to the Lord.
Isaiah 55:10-11; Matthew 6:7-15
The Lord’s Prayer is a practical “how to” of living in Love. This Love, who is God, is continually poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. If we remain receptive to Love and let it permeate our being it will radiate out from us and overflow to others. Then this Love who is God can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. The essence of all of Jesus’ teaching and how he asks us to pray is to be receivers and transmitters of Love.
We are extremely happy to share the news, that both Sr. Sahaya Mary Ambrose and Sr. Amutha Motcha from India, arrived in Laurel, Maryland on February 27, 2019, and were welcomed by sisters Sr. Stella Holisz and Sr. Danuta Przybylek at the airport in Baltimore, and then warmly welcomed into their new community, and as new members of Queen of Apostles Province, USA.
What must I do to inherit eternal life ?
The mystery of God is open to a person that can see and hear. The source of the inner spiritual senses of every human being is the heart. It is a place of dialogue and encounter; it is an ability to see and listen. It is "our hidden center, the place of truth and decision in which we choose life or death, it is a place of covenant with God" (see: Catechism of the Catholic Church 2562).
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR LENT 2019
“For the creation waits with eager longing
for the revealing of the children of God” (Rm 8: 19)
Dear Brothers and Sisters
Each year, through Mother Church, God “gives us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed… as we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ” (Preface of Lent I). We can thus journey from Easter to Easter towards the fulfilment of the salvation we have already received as a result of Christ’s paschal mystery – “for in hope we were saved” (Rom 8:24). This mystery of salvation, already at work in us during our earthly lives, is a dynamic process that also embraces history and all of creation. As Saint Paul says, “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Rom 8:19). In this perspective, I would like to offer a few reflections to accompany our journey of conversion this coming Lent.
Called home to the Eternal Father - 102 year old
God sent you as workers into his harvest that through your ministry faith may be preserved and love may grow.
St. Vincent Pallotti
Born on 17 July 1917 in Werbachhausen, Germany, Justina was the youngest of the seven children of Karl and Katharina Metzger. From an early age, it was her deep desire to enter religious life and to dedicate herself to the Lord and his people. In 1934, Justina applied to be admitted into the Candidature of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters in Limburg an der Lahn, where she studied until she was accepted as a Postulant in 1937. In the convent she received the religious name 'Sister Othmara'. She made her First Profession in 1940 and in 1946 her final vows. During World War II she served as a professional nurse in the military hospital in Limburg.
In 1948, Sister Othmara was sent to South Africa with nine other Sisters. The ten missionaries flew from Europe to Johannesburg on KLM, the Royal Dutch Airlines. They travelled by train from Johannesburg to Cape Town, arriving there on 30th March 1948.
Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; Matthew 25:31-46
The Least among Us
This much we knew. That God finds us in solitude, sacraments, the beauty of nature, old friends, the support of family, when cynicism gives way to solidarity and action. Familiar or drab surroundings can break into color. An ordinary day can yield awareness and gratitude. I step out the door and realize that I’m alive and how much it matters to be here.
Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
As I prayed my way through today’s readings, I was struck at the very beginning of the Gospel passage. Jesus was not alone in the desert. He was filled with the Holy Spirit! How cool is that? Jesus was not alone, nor are we alone on our journeys. Next, I read that Jesus didn’t eat for 40 days, he was hungry. He was empty. In fact, are we not also invited to empty ourselves, decrease our ego, become hungry, so we can more fully be filled with the Holy Spirit? If we can let go of our ego selves and let the Spirit fill us, then, when we are tempted we are better able to respond from a place of the divine, represented in the Gospel by Jesus responding with scripture. I believe this is the basic call of the Lenten Season invitation to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It is an invitation to let go of ourselves, our egos, just a little bit more to make room for God. It is an invitation to remember and reconnect with who and whose we really are at our core as children of God.