Monthly Archives: February 2013

3rd Sunday of Lent – Repentance

Lonely tree

Study: Who do I need to forgive in my life?  Who do I need to ask for forgiveness?

Pray:  How can my prayer help me repent and seek forgiveness in my life?  Is there something special I need to bring to the Lord?

Serve: How can I be an agent for healing and reconciliation in the lives of those around me?

3rd Sunday of Lent Readings

The readings in this 3rd Week of Lent are pointed in their meaning:

1.  God comes into our world (1st & Psalm)
2.  Repent!  (2nd & Gospel)

It really is simple.  God enters into our world, revealing his love and compassion.  In our response to the Lord we are called to recognize our sins and turn away from them to a new way of life.

What does this mean for us?  How do we apply these Scriptures to our lives today?  Here are a few thoughts:

1.  Take time to examine our lives.
* What is the content of my speech?
* What is the pattern of my behavior?
* What is my attitude?
* How do I treat other people?

2.  What needs to change?
* What in my life is not Christ like?
* What in my life is destructive?
* What in my life is not healthy?

3.  Make a break and start a new way!
* Take the courage to act!
* See a new way to live…and do it!

4.  Reminders…
* We do not do this alone – lean on others.
* We do not do this alone – lean on God!
* When we make mistakes, return to God!
(this is called Confession!)

We examine our lives, judge what is not of Christ, and actively change our ways.  Simple?  Yes.  Easy?  NO!!!

Repentance takes honesty, hard work, and a commitment to grow closer to the Lord.  When we repent we make the claim that there are parts of our life that are not right – something needs to change.

As we continue on our Lenten journey, we explore and renew our relationship with the Lord.  We can see if our lives are in harmony with the faith we profess.  If there is something that has to change, we trust in the Lord for the courage to repent.

2nd Sunday of Lent – A Ray of Light


Study:  What sources of faith bring light to your life in wisdom and knowledge – Scripture, Catechism, Sacraments?

Pray: How does prayer strengthen you?  Is it in silence, with music, in faith sharing, or at Mass?

Service: How do you bring light to the lives of others?  What acts of kindness & charity help others, especially in their struggles and challenges?

2nd Sunday of Lent Readings

Have you ever been outside on an overcast day?  On cloudy days I find myself longing for the sun.  Everything looks drab and gray, and the world appears lifeless and cold.

On occasion there will be a break in the clouds, and sunlight will flood the landscape.  In a moment everything changes.  Colors appear, water sparkles, and the brightness makes your eyes squint.

It’s not that the landscape changed.  Everything is the same as before.  What is different is the light which gives our eyes a new perspective.  The light brings out the glory and beauty which we could not notice earlier.

In the Gospel today Jesus leads Peter, James and John up a mountain to pray.  The Lord, whom they had known now for some time, suddenly changes before them.  The man they knew now is revealed as a mighty and powerful person, surrounded by great figures from the past and authorized by the Father’s voice.

The disciples don’t know what to do or say.  Overcome by the glory of Jesus, Peter starts talking without even knowing his own words.  The Lord’s transfiguration changes what they know about Jesus; he is no longer just the teacher – he has been revealed in a profound way as God’s son.

He is still the same man they knew:  the teacher, the healer, the kind and gentle friend.  Yet suddenly they discover that he is much, much more.  His power and authority are revealed, even if for just a moment.  A ray of light has shown the disciples that they are in the savior’s midst.

As the Lord approaches his suffering and death in Jerusalem, his transfiguration reveals that the Cross will not be the end of the story.  His glory and might will transcend his earthly pain, for as the disciples have seen on the mountain, Jesus is the Lord of all creation.

Sometimes we, too, need a ray of light in our lives.  Caught in darkness or doubt, we can become gloomy, despondent, sarcastic, or fearful.  It is at these moments that we call to God for the sight which will help us see the hope and peace within life.

The transfiguration does not take away pain; it shows that God is greater than the suffering and struggle of life.  May we look to the Lord’s example to find the ray of light we need in our dark moments.

1st Sunday of Lent: In the Desert of Fear


Study: How did Christ face his fears?  How can we face our own?

Pray: Ask God for the help to face our fears and offer thanks for moments of grace.

Serve: Many face fears each day through temptation; how can we help them overcome their obstacles?

1st Sunday of Lent Readings

My experience and imagination tell me that the desert is a dry and barren place, absent of the typical signs of life.  Compared to the vegetation and animal life many of us know, the desert can seem to be a place where there is nothing at all.

This sense of “nothing” can be very profound.  The bleakness of the desert can lead to a sense of quiet.  Without the distraction and abundance of other living things, a person can often contemplate on problems and concerns, doubts and fears that lie within the heart.

Jesus was led to the desert.  After his baptism the Spirit directed him to a place of barren solitude where he would be tempted.  Alone and without the basic conforts of life, the Lord confronted the issues that would surface throughout his ministry.

In the three temptations, the Devil uses fear to keep Jesus from his mission.  The first temptation, turning stones to bread, forces Jesus to face the fear of bodily harm.  Knowing he is God, Jesus could have allowed himself to never physically suffer.  Yet the Lord says that there is more than just the body.

The second temptation, bowing to the Devil to receive the kingdoms of the earth, shows Jesus the fear of being powerless.  The miracles he will later perform testify to his power and might.  Jesus, however, places his hope in God alone.

The third temptation, falling from the Temple, addresses the fear of death.  The devil tempts Jesus to take the easy way, avoiding the pain that his suffering on the Cross will cause.  Yet the Lord again responds with confidence – for God is not to be tested to “prove” his power.

These three temptations are a foreshadowing of what will come.  Through his death on the Cross the Lord will encounter all of these fears.  His body beaten and tortured, alone and abandoned, left to die as a criminal – the Lord will endure these fears in the saving act that sets us free.  The temptations Jesus rejected in the desert he confronts in life, but he faces them in spite of the fear they cause.

The Lords temptation in the desert becomes an opportunity for us to examine our hearts.  There are times when God leads us to a barren place, where we are isolated and free of the distractions of life.  At these moments we may face our fears, seeing clearly those issues which keep us from living our lives as the Lord intended.

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