Monday, March 25, 2019

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, “Behold I come.”

Our minds, hearts, souls, and bodies should echo the words we hear in this psalm, “Here we are, Lord; we come to do your will.” The decision to let go of our will and choose to do God’s Will is one that shapes who we are. This is what Mary did when she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” And these words should ever be on our lips, too. God wants our love, obedience, and good works and if we give Him these, then He will respond with His Love, Mercy, and Grace.

Are we doing God’s Will? How can we be more obedient to God’s commandments, teachings, and inspirations? What can we do to make our lives into living sacrifices of love for God and all His children?

O Lord, here we are, help us to do your will.

Amen.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Third Sunday of Lent

Yet God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert. These things happened as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil things, as they did. Do not grumble as some of them did, and suffered death by the destroyer. These things happened to them as an example, and they have been written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.

The desire for evil things can seep into our lives and ruin the foundations of our faith. It can wear away the solid rock beneath us and cause us to fall. Sin, grumbling, indifference... all of these things tear down our spiritual lives. And we cannot say God did not warn us against these worldly vices. He has shown us again and again how wickedness leads to destruction. None of us should be so prideful as to feel secure in our salvation. It is only by the Grace and Mercy of God that we have any hope of eternal life despite how often we displease Him with acts of selfishness and sin.

How can we rid ourselves of the desire for evil? What can we do to amend our lives so we might avoid sin, grumbling, and other temptations? How can we do a better job of seeking our salvation rather than our self-satisfaction?

O Lord, help us to be more pleasing to you.

Amen.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Second Saturday of Lent

The Lord is kind and merciful. He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

How fortunate for us that we have such a kind and merciful God! Just imagine how we might feel in His place when we see so many of our children turning their backs on us for various reasons. Imagine being betrayed by those whom we love. Imagine being taken for granted and ignored by the people we care about. Would we be as patient, loving, and forgiving as God? And yet, God pardons all our iniquities. He heals us of our ills. He redeems us from destruction. He even crowns us with kindness and compassion. Yes, we are blessed to have such a good God on our side.

Are we as kind and merciful as God is to us? Are we willing to pardon those who trespass against us? How do we repay God for all the kindness and compassion He has shown us?

O Lord, you are kind and merciful.

Amen.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Second Friday of Lent

Remember the marvels the Lord has done. When the LORD called down a famine on the land and ruined the crop that sustained them, He sent a man before them, Joseph, sold as a slave.

We all undergo trials and tribulations in our lives. Some challenges come early in life, others later. We never quite understand why they happen to us or where they will lead us. Often, we ask in protest, “Why me?” And yet if our hearts are open to God’s Will, we discover our sufferings have led us to a better place. We must pass through the famine to get to the feast. We must struggle in slavery before we can taste true freedom. We must see ourselves ruined before we rebuild a better life. These painful moments in our lives are not something to fear or shy away from. They are opportunities to join ourselves with the Life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Instead of complaining, we should thank God for the difficulties in our lives and ask Him, “What do you want me to learn from this?”

Can we think of any times when we have suffered in some way and it led us to a person, place, or thing that helped us grow as a Christian? How can we unite our suffering with that of Jesus Christ? What can we do to transform our difficulties and challenges into opportunities to grow in faith, hope, and love?

O Lord, you have done marvelous things for us.

Amen.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Second Thursday of Lent

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. He is like a tree planted near running water, That yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers.

If we want to prosper spiritually, then we have to prepare our souls to be good soil for the Word of God. We have to clear away the debris that doesn’t belong. We have to till the dirt so that it welcomes the seeds of faith. We must plant our fields near the running water of hope. We have to tend the vineyards and orchards of our souls with love. We have to protect ourselves from the wickedness and snares of the Devil. We have to uproot the weeds of weakness, imperfection, indifference, and worldliness that try to choke off our growth. If we do all these things, then when the time of harvest comes, our souls will produce good and abundant fruits.

How can we place our hope more firmly in the Lord? What are we doing to prepare the vineyards and orchards of our souls to bear much fruit? How can we protect ourselves for those things that would destroy our faith?

O Lord, work within our souls so they might prosper.

Amen.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Second Wednesday of Lent

Save me, O Lord, in your kindness. You will free me from the snare they set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.

The wickedness and snares of the Devil are all around us. We see it in the world, in people, in places, and in things. We are constantly tempted by evil or tormented by those who see good and want to tear it down. God is our only refuge in this dark valley. He is our light, leading us to safety. He is our shelter, protecting us from the storm. He is our help, freeing us from the snares. If we want to have any hope of reaching Heaven, then we must commend our spirits to Him and allow Him to shepherd us to the Promised Land along the Way He has prepared for us.

Do we pray for God’s Help in overcoming the wickedness and snares of the Devil? Do we turn to Him in our times of need and commend our spirits to Him? How can we train ourselves to seek His Grace, follow His Light, and walk His Way?

O Lord, save us in your kindness.

Amen.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The son of David will live forever. The promises of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness, For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.

God’s kindness has been established forever. He expressed it through the creation of the heavens and the earth and all living things, especially man and woman. He showed it through His Mercy on the people of the Old Testament. He revealed it through His Beloved Son’s life, passion, death, and resurrection. He continues to prove it through the Holy Spirit, who guides His Church. O, how faithful God has been to us! We can only hope we can return a fraction of His faithfulness and sing His praises forever.

Have we been faithful to God? How can we become more faithful? In what ways can we reflect God’s kindness to the rest of the world?

O Lord, may your kindness be established in us.

Amen.