Friday, February 27, 2015

Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

   Veronica steps from the crowd so she can wipe the blood and sweat from Jesus’s forehead and face. By doing this she showed her love and concern for Jesus. It was not much some may say but Veronica did what she could to help Jesus. 

     We are all called to help one another, even in the smallest of ways. Just smiling at someone or holding the door is an act of kindness. When we think of doing charity work, we think of doing grand things like soup kitchens, clothing drives, etc.. They are all great things but not everyone can do them for their own reasons. Yet there are other things we all can do. 

   What are someways that someone just out a smile on your face when you were down? Has someone told you that you made their day and you have no idea what you did? These questions happen more then we know. The little things in life helps us to move on sometimes when we do not think anyone cares or understands. They are the extra push that we need. 

    Veronica did what anyone else in the crowd could have done. The difference is that she did it when no one else did. She stepped away from the norm of the crowd to do something kind for Jesus. Sometimes we need to step from the norm of the crowd to do what is right. When someone drops what they are carrying, help them pick them up instead of laughing. Lend a helping hand instead of a pointing finger. You see a mother trying to open the door and get the stroller in the store, hold the door for her. There are many many little things we can do each day for others. Once you start it will be just part of the normal day to help others.

    It is not just in doing extraordinary things that we can be the Hands and Feet of Jesus but it is also in the small day to day things we can do as Jesus asks of us. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember Jesus in the grand and small things. 

Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 229
Reading 1
DT 26:16-19
Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.
And today the LORD is making this agreement with you:
you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you;
and provided you keep all his commandments,
he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory
above all other nations he has made,
and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God,
as he promised.”
Responsorial Psalm
PS 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
You have commanded that your precepts
be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
of keeping your statutes!
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
I will give you thanks with an upright heart,
when I have learned your just ordinances.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Verse Before The Gospel
2 COR 6:2B
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
MT 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?

So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Thursday, February 26, 2015

5th Station of the Cross

5th Station of the Cross

Simon of Cyrene is forced to help Jesus to carry His cross to Calvary. Simon was just a bystander watching what was going on with Jesus. Simon did not plan on helping Jesus and becoming part of His journey. Jesus was not moving as fast as the soldiers wanted and was becoming weaker and weaker with each step. They knew He would not be able to do this Himself and longer so they pulled Simon from the crowd and forced him to help. 

    This station like the first can be seen from both persons. First being Jesus. Jesus is beaten down and tired, both physically, emotional and I wonder if spiritually as well. We know Jesus could have called on Heaven to give Him strength but He allowed another to help Him with His struggle. How good are you at asking for help when going through something? Are you able to ask someone to help with a task that you will need help with? I must admit that this I am not good at. I do not ask for help and if I am asked if I need help I will say no but Thank You for asking and continue on. I know this is not something that is a good trait in myself. If Jesus was able to accept help I also need to learn to do that as well. I must be able to humble myself as Jesus shows us all to do and ask and accept that help from others. People feel needed and wanted when we allow them to help. It shows that we trust and need them in our lives. It is not showing a weakness but a strength. 

     The second perspective is that of Simon. Simon had no intention of helping Jesus but is forced to by the soldiers. Have you watched someone who needed help and did nothing to help them? Have you given excuses so you would not have to help someone? We are all called to help others. Jesus helped those He knew and also those who He did not know. There are plenty of ways we can help others. We are able to help other by bring food and drink to those in need and bring clothes to them as well. There are many organizations that ask for our help both monetarily and physically. It is up to us to be the hands and feet of Jesus today on earth by helping others. No one will force us like they did Simon. Look around you and see what you can do to help others in need. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you find ways to help and be helped by others. 

Friday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 228
Reading 1
EZ 18:21-28
Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, 
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die. 
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. 
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD. 
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die. 
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!” 
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, 
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7A, 7BC-8
R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered. 
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
Let Israel wait for the LORD.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Verse Before The Gospel
EZ 18:31
Cast away from you all the creatures you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
MT 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: 
“I tell you, 
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,

you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Station 4 Jesus meets His mother

Station 4 Jesus meets His mother

   At the fourth station Jesus comes face to face with His mother. The pain and anguish is shared by both of them. We see Jesus as our Savior and Messiah but Mary see’s Jesus as her Son. The pain Mary felt as she watches her son carry His cross to Calvary as He is beat and mocked by the scores of people would have been unconsolable. Mary watches and can do nothing to save her son. Jesus sees the pain in His mother’s eyes and yet is comforted by seeing her as only a mother can console her child in the times of pain and agony. 

   When we are going through those hard times and we have someone around us to comfort us makes a difference. Sometimes it is a parent, spouse, family or a friend that can help us during those times of suffering. Even just the sight of someone can have us breathe that sigh of relief. It does not mean that they can take that pain away or stop what is going on but just knowing that someone is there to listen and understands the pain keeps us going. The person there feels our pain and tries to comfort us. There doesn’t need to be a conversation but just the mere presence or a gentle touch lets us know we are not alone. If we feel that we are alone during those hard times it takes a harder and quicker toll on us. We are lost and seems like no one cares for us. 

    In the time we live in we are just about always able to make some kind of contact with people we care about. We can call, text, send an email, or drive and even fly to see those we care for. A simple text saying “ I am here for you” or “ You are in my thoughts and prayers” can make a world of difference. Just the thought that someone took that time to think and maybe pray for us can make a world of difference. We may never know how we were able to help someone when they needed it. It is better to extend your hand then think they want to be left a lone. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and drop that someone who has been on your mind today a message and tell them you care. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Station 3: Jesus falls for the First Time

Station 3: Jesus falls for the First Time

   Jesus, beaten and tired falls from the weight of the cross that has been placed upon Him. Jesus shows His humanity by showing His human difficulties of carrying the physical cross. Yet, the cross was more then just physically heavy but was spiritually heavy as well. 

     Have you added to the weight of the cross by turning from Jesus and following your own path? Have you tried to help Jesus by following Him and turning away from sin so not to add to the weight of the cross? 

     We all have fallen on our faith journey. It is not in the falling that defines us but it is in the getting back up, picking up our cross and following Jesus again. We are human and we will fall at times. God knew this and when Jesus came down to earth He gave us the sacrament of Reconciliation. We are able to fall and ask for forgiveness. Jesus forgives us because we are asking from a contrite heart and knows that within us we want to do better and follow Him. Think as if you are walking and trip and fall and you get up and dust yourself off but sometimes you need something more then that quick dust off. You need to use soap to get out that grass stain. No matter how much you try you will walk around with that stain till you use the soap. Jesus through reconciliation is that sin remover that we all need at times. He helps us to be able to continue on.

       If we do not get back up we are allowing sin to control our lives and also those things in life that may have us down. It is not only sins that hold us down under the cross but those things we struggle with in our lives. It may not be something that cause us to sin but maybe an illness, pain, relationships, inner struggles, etc... Each of them we carry on that cross with our sins. The great thing is that when we accept Jesus as our Savior and turn to the sacrament of reconciliation our cross does become lighter. 

      Every day we get up and carry our cross. Somedays we carry it better then others and even sometimes we fall and need the strength to get back up and carry on. It is through Jesus’ grace we are able to do this. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you always be able to stand after a fall and remember Jesus will be there for you. 

Wednesday of the First Week in Lent
Lectionary: 226
Reading 1
JON 3:1-10
The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. 
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
R. (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me. 
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Verse Before The Gospel
JL 2:12-13
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart
for I am gracious and merciful.
LK 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah. 
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment 
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation 
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here. 
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,

and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Monday, February 23, 2015

Second Station : Jeus carries His Cross

Second Station : Jeus carries His Cross

    Jesus takes up His cross and starts the journey to Calvary. The cross represents all of our sins. It was not just the sins of those around Him at that time but the sins of us all until judgment day comes. 

     We are all called to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus on this road to salvation. In Matthew 16 : 24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”  Our crosses are personal to each one of us. For some it may be that your cross is health issues, marriage problems, sins, family problems, anger, pain, sorrow, etc.. There are many crosses we carry each day. I also must say that at times it feels like we are carrying more then one of them at a time.  Everyone of us carry a cross in this life and sometimes we have no idea what crosses those around us may be carrying. Keep that in mind when you are carrying your cross, that you are not the only one. 

     No matter what we are going through or what crosses we are carrying we need to follow Jesus. It is not an easy thing to do at times but call on Jesus to help you get the strength to carry on. Our faith helps us carry those crosses because we know that Jesus is there to help us and also know the gift of Salvation that was gained from the cross. Each time we continue on with the journey to Calvary we are seeking salvation. We are there on the road with Jesus. 

     Allow your Lenten journey help you gain faith, love and mercy to aid you in carrying those crosses in your life. Seek Jesus on your daily walk. Pray not only for strength but also for those around you who are carrying their crosses as well. Each one of us are called to do this and remember you are never alone on the path.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember we all carry crosses in this life. 

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 225
Reading 1
IS 55:10-11
Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19
R. (18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears. 
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Verse Before The Gospel
MT 4:4B
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
MT 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,

neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Sunday, February 22, 2015

First Station

 Station One : Jesus is Condemned

   The first station is that of Jesus being brought before Pilate and He is condemned to Death. Those around Jesus left Him and did not defend Him. Those who were healed by Jesus also did not speak up. Pilate asked what “ He should do with Jesus” and the crowd replied “ Crucify Him”. Pilate then washes his hands and says the blood is not on his hands but the crowds and Jesus is condemned to death. 

    When I think of this station I have always seen it as a two fold reflection. One is from the point of view from Jesus and the other view is from Pilate. 

     First let us reflect on Pilate. Have you ever condemned someone without having real and factual evidence and just based your decision from hear say? Have you ever put the blame of the outcome on others so you can feel that you had no choice or no part of condemning someone? When we condemn someone without hearing the whole story or only listen to the voices of others we are acting as Pilate. Sometimes we need to block out those voices that are trying to control and dictate our decisions. Not every person around us has our best interests at heart. We need to listen to our own heart and mind. Filter out all the voice and focus on what is the truth and not the hearsay. Pilate did not know Jesus by let others dictate to him. It is almost the same as the saying “ Don’t judge a book by its cover”. We need to get to know people before we decide who they are and what they stand for. We are called not to put labels on people but allow them to show us who they are themselves. When you are faced with making decisions about people think of how Pilate handled it and remember once you condemn someone, you rarely get a second chance. 

      Now lets reflect on Jesus. Have you ever been accused of something you have not done? Have those around you turned their backs on you and left you standing alone? When others believe what people say about us, it hurts and we feel betrayed. They listened to others and did not take your own relationship into account or they judged you without knowing you. Labels are placed on us everyday and we carry them. They weigh us down and most of them are not true. Do not let others dictate who you are but be who God created you to be. When people in our lives turn away from us and leave us standing alone it hurts. The pain goes deep because there was a relationship there and now it is in question. People who really care about you will not leave you standing alone but stand by your side and walk with you in the hard times. They will even defend you and your name to others. Those people who are there are the ones that really should matter to you. When people turn their  back on you it is their loss. Sometimes the relationship can be reconciled but it is hard to forget what has gone on. When we feel we are being condemned and people have turned from us we need to turn to Jesus for He will never leave us. He will always be there to listen and hold us until we are able to stand again. We are never alone with Jesus in our hearts. 

       Jesus and Pilate are opposite sides of the same coin in this refection. Both men are being affected by those around them. Pilate allows others to rule his choice as Jesus is condemned by those who rule. At times we all have played both Men in different situations in our lives. We need to remember how it is to feel as Jesus did so we may not be like Pilate. Use this Lent to examine who you are more like. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you judge and be judged fairly and have those who will stand by you and not turn from you. 

Monday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 224
Reading 1
LV 19:1-2, 11-18
The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

“You shall not steal.
You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
You shall not swear falsely by my name,
thus profaning the name of your God.
I am the LORD.

“You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor.
You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer.
You shall not curse the deaf,
or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,
but you shall fear your God.
I am the LORD.

“You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.
Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty,
but judge your fellow men justly.
You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin;
nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake. 
I am the LORD.

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. 
Though you may have to reprove him,
do not incur sin because of him. 
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”
Responsorial Psalm
PS 19:8, 9, 10, 15
R. (John 6:63b) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Verse Before The Gospel
2 COR 6:2B
Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
MT 25:31-46
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him. 
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you? 
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Taking Apart the Lenten Antiphon

Taking Apart the Lenten Antiphon

   Normally for the Saturday into Sunday Blog I just post the readings for Sunday but since I was to do a follow up on the Blog from Thursday on the Antiphon of Lent I have combined them tonight. Well, I would have combined them but website for readings is down so I will post them later today. Sorry.... 

    The Antiphon for Lent “ Come back to the Lord with all your heart; leave the past in the ashes, and turn to God with tears and fasting, for He is slow to anger and ready to forgive.” I want to break that apart to discuss it. 

 “Come back to the Lord with all your heart”

   The Lord just doesn’t want us to come back but do so will ALL of our heart. Not just part of it. Turning back to God is great but we need to expand on it. For example we can turn back to God and say attend mass now every week or even attend a daily mass or go to prayer services but unless we are opening our heart to Him then what are we doing? Are you just filling the obligation or just doing a check mark on a list of things you wanted to do for Lent? We need to bring our heart so it can be changed, be healed. The only way we can do this is to allow all of our heart to be exposed to our Lord. If we do not do this then we can not expect the next part in the antiphon to happen.

“Leave the past in the Ashes”

    I am the first to say this is hard at times for me. To let the past fade away and move on and forward without any of that holding me back or down. It may be that we have to heal like I said in the last paragraph. Healing our heart will allow some of this to happen.  We can leave those past hurts or disappointments behind us. We have to allow the “What If’s” and the “Maybe if I”.. stay there. We do not get the chance to do it over but we can learn from it and let it stay in the past. That includes our sins. Things we have done to damage or cut the ties with our Lord. We have to be ready to leave it in the past. That now leads us to the next part of the Antiphon. 

“And turn to God with tears and fasting”

     When we turn to the Lord with all of our heart and are ready to leave what we have done in the past we find tears in our eyes and an emptiness. We may be sad for what has gone on or upset of the lose of who we are to be in God’s eyes, the person He created us to be. The tears show sorry and sadness. The fasting comes from the emptiness that has to come from us so we can be filled again with what God intends for us. I know when I am upset I don’t want to eat and can not eat. It is a fasting not by my own but from inside of me. I feel that this is a way for our bodies to show the emptiness that is truly going on within us. When I am at the bottom, the low of lows, the darkest spot, the tears flow within my soul. I feel that emptiness and all I want is to turn to God. The tears allows us to flow into the next part of the antiphon.

“ For He is slow to anger and ready to forgive”

        When the heart is turned, the past is settling in the ashes and our tears are falling we can now turn to God and see how He is slow to anger and ready to forgive us. As a Catholic, we have the blessing of the sacrament of Reconciliation. When we are ready to ask for that forgiveness we will get it. We have that heart that is seeking the forgiveness. Our tears show our sorrow for the sins that have damaged and hurt our relationship. Our fasting is showing our readiness for penance for the past sins we are asking forgiveness for. God wants to forgive, we just have to have the pure heart and ask for it. He wants us to turn back and be with Him and do the will in our lives. 

    Each part of the Antiphon brings us through the Lenten journey that we all should seek this year. The changing of our hearts, leaving our sins in the past as we ask for forgiveness. It is not always easy but it is the best way to live our lives. I know kneeling down and asking for forgiveness has changed my life each and every time. Make it part of your journey this Lent. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and Turn away from Sin and be faithful to the Gospel.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Antiphon of Lent

Antiphon of Lent

I saw this photo yesterday and thought this is the perfect Antiphon for Lent.  What I am asking is that you focus on those words today. Think about them. Pray using those words. 

What do you feel inside? 

What do you think? 

Can you leave the past in the ashes? 

Can you give your whole heart to Jesus? 

Are you ready to be forgiven? 

Can you forgive yourself?

What do you need to fast from? 

Are you ready to turn?

  Each of questions should be answered with an honest heart. What are the other questions you get from that antiphon? Tomorrow I will go into a deeper reflection with this but I want you to think on this first. See where we meet and where we differ. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and are you ready to come back? 

Friday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 221
Reading 1
IS 58:1-9A
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
lift up your voice like a trumpet blast; 
Tell my people their wickedness,
and the house of Jacob their sins. 
They seek me day after day,
and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask me to declare what is due them,
pleased to gain access to God.
“Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?”

Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast
so as to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed
and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
Responsorial Psalm
PS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 18-19
R. (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.”
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Verse Before The Gospel
Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
and the Lord will be with you.
MT 9:14-15
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.”