The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you allow fear or opposition to hold you back from doing God’s will? Jesus set his face like flint toward Jerusalem, knowing full well what awaited him there (Luke 9:51; Isaiah 50:7). It was Jewish belief that when the high priest asked for God’s counsel for the nation, God spoke through him. What dramatic irony that Caiaphas prophesied that Jesus must die for the nation. The prophet Ezekiel announced that God would establish one people, one land, one prince, and one sanctuary forever. Luke adds to Caiphas’s prophecy that Jesus would gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. Jesus came to lay down his life for the many, but not in a foolish reckless manner so as to throw it away before his work was done. He retired until the time had come when nothing would stop his coming to Jerusalem to fulfill his Father’s mission.
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD)wrote:
“The passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the hope of glory and a lesson in patience… He loved us so much that, sinless himself, he suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins. How then can he fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for he is the source of righteousness? How can he, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints when he bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin himself? Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory.”
The way to glory and victory for us is through the cross of Jesus Christ. Are you ready to take up your cross and follow Christ in his way of victory?
“Lord Jesus, may we your disciples be ever ready to lay down our lives in conformity to your will, to willingly suffer and die for you, that we may also share in your victory and glory.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
“This will prove that you are sons of your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:45
In this time of Lent, the Church emphasizes more than ever the command: “In a word, you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). Like our Father, we must show love practically even to our persecutors and enemies (Mt 5:44-45).
Lent is traditionally a time of God the Father confirming His love for us as His sons and daughters. Before Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit (Mt 4:1), He heard His Father say: “This is My beloved Son. My favor rests on Him” (Mt 3:17). In the desert, Satan tempted Jesus to doubt that He was the beloved Son of God (Mt 4:3, 6). Jesus overcame these temptations and was confirmed in His Father’s love. During this Lent we, like Jesus, will be tempted to doubt the Father’s love for us. Yet we will be given the grace to overcome these temptations and to believe more than ever in the Father’s infinite love for us.
The Holy Spirit will grace us with confirmation of our Father’s love through our Lenten penances. Therefore, “keep your deeds of mercy secret, and your Father Who sees in secret will repay you” (Mt 6:4). “Whenever you pray, go to your room, close your door, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, Who sees what no man sees, will repay you” (Mt 6:6). “When you fast, see to it that you groom your hair and wash your face. In that way no one can see you are fasting but your Father Who is hidden; and your Father Who sees what is hidden will repay you” (Mt 6:17-18). Live a Lent in which you trust God the Father completely and let Him father you in simple, practical ways. Let the Holy Spirit cry out in your heart, “Abba” (“Father”) (Gal 4:6; Rm 8:15).
Prayer: Abba, give me humble faith to be secure in Your love.Promise: “Provided you keep all His commandments…you will be a people sacred to the Lord, your God.” Dt 26:18, 19 Praise: Martin studied Hebrew and visited the Holy Land in order to understand the Scriptures more deeply.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements