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Reflections

Reflections

Passion Sunday: The Cross of Jesus

Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.  Luke 22:42

The Palm Sunday Gospel provides reassurance for us in this Lenten Season as we struggle with sacrifice and deal with our own burdens.  It is humbling to hear the story of Jesus' persecution, conviction, and crucifixion because He, as Our Lord, KNEW His fate and graciously struggled with it.  When Jesus prayed to God saying, "take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done," he was saying that he dreaded what was sure to come, but out of love for His Father and humanity He would suffer anyway.  This is true love!

By asking the Father for guidance, Jesus set an example for us to follow.  If Jesus Christ can ask for help, so too can we!  As we reach the end of Lent, the temptation to break our Lenten sacrifices is ever increasing.  However, as Jesus demonstrated, God wants us to ask for His help.  He wants to help us grow closer to Him.  That is what Lent is all about, growing closer to God.  We choose to fast, we choose to sacrifice, we choose to sin, but we can also choose to ask for God's help and in doing so we exercise the freedom He granted us to its fullest potential.  This Lenten Season we should follow Jesus' example and seek advice from a spiritual mentor in an effort to grow closer to God and to live virtue.

Andrew Weiss
Class of 2011

 

Fifth Sunday of Lent: And Jesus Wept

I am the resurrection and the life. John 11:25

It is not difficult to understand why we are all so comforted to hear that Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus.  Our own moments of loss and suffering are softened when we are reminded that Jesus was overtaken by his love for his friend.  We are able to connect on a very human level with him.  The very words, "and Jesus wept" invites us to gaze on an image of God who willingly shares in our human suffering.  

Take to your daily prayer the three words, "and Jesus wept" and remember that Jesus feels our mortal pain.  Be attentive to suffering of others and the pain in world.  Grieve with your God.  Listen deeply for Jesus calling you to "come out" and be released from the bonds of your self-centeredness, your fears and your weaknesses.

Dianne Reardon
Director Center for Global Perspective
Assistant Faculty Department of Theology

 

Fourth Sunday of Lent: I do believe, Lord

One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see. John 9:25

On this fourth Sunday of Lent, we see Christ opening the physical and spiritual eyes of a beggar.  "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see."  Christ placed mud on the eyes of the blind man, but the blind man himself had to wash it off.  Christ gave all that was necessary for the blind man to see, but without the action of the blind man there would have been no sight.

The season of Lent is now four weeks in, and the sacrifices that we once felt so much zeal for may now be nothing but a wearying obligation.  Each penance may feel like a crown of thorns and every prayer as empty, meaningless words.  During Lent, we can easily become so engulfed in and worn out by our penances that we are blinded to the heart of the season-blinded to Christ.  When we become so overcome with the action itself that we forget its source and end, we must allow Christ to once again open our eyes.  When you are having a hard time keeping your Lenten penance, bring your struggles to Christ in the very sacrifice that you are struggling with. He thirsts for you as you are.  Christ is a fount of graces, constantly allowing our needs to reach Him.  It is our choice to accept and persevere.  Christ clears our vision, but we must choose to see.

Molly Flanagan
Class of 2013

 

Third Sunday of Lent: A Conversation at the Well

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  John 4:13-14

The season of Lent is an opportunity.  Each of us are called in our own way to come to Christ.  Everyone has the opportunity to share in Christ's redemptive love.  In the Gospel on the 3rd Sunday of Lent, we see that Jesus offers a Samaritan woman this same opportunity.  He offers her the water of eternal life, the same water that poured out from His side on the cross.   We can see time and time again through the Gospel that Christ calls on those who were outcasts. Christ's actions with the Samaritan speak volumes of His message to humanity.  Its a common theme that is shared many times throughout His life. 

Lent is a challenge, an opportunity for all of us not only to reflect and grow as we prepare for the Savior's resurrection, but to share the Good News with all people.  It is a call to reach out the giving hand to all those who can share in His love.  Let this be a moment where we, like Christ, share the story of God's divine mercy not only in our prayers and thoughts, but also in our actions. May His example give us the strength to live out our faith as disciples.  For it is what we do that testifies to what we believe.

Casey St. Aubin
Associate Director of Campus Ministry

 

Second Sunday of Lent: Transfiguring our Lives

While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.  Luke 9:29

On the second Sunday of Lent, we meditate on the Transfiguration of our Lord.  Peter, James and John ascend the mountain with Jesus.  In their weakness they begin to fall asleep, but soon they become fully awake when they witness an illuminated Christ conversing with Moses and Elijah.  Misinterpreting this event, they are cast into a dark cloud which terrifies them.  Immersed in the cloud they hear the voice of the Lord say to them "This is my beloved Son; listen to him."

In the darkness the apostles learn to let go and trust in Jesus.

During this time in Lent it is very likely that we begin to enter the cloud of darkness that the apostles were engulfed in.  Typically we enter the season full of zeal ready to take on our Lenten observances, but soon temptation overwhelms us. Like the apostles, we have been chosen to journey with the Lord because he loves us.  However, even after experiencing Jesus as Christ, they would deny him.  May we realize our own weakness when we are experiencing these temptations and remember how in the past Christ illuminated our lives with the gift of himself.  We hold on to these memories so that in the darkness of our own sinfulness we may remember the times when Christ felt close to us, even if it only seems like an ember in the darkness. 

May we be comforted in knowing that we need not know all the answers; rather, we simply need to stop and "listen to him" and he will bring us into the light.

Brendan McAleer
Class of 2011

 

First Sunday of Lent: Lessons in the Desert

Jesus was lead by the Spirit into the desert and was tempted.  Luke 4:1-2

During Lent, each of us is called to share the deprivation of Jesus' journey into the desert.  There Jesus encountered the devil and faced great temptations.  Through the description of his struggles, he shares our humanity and prepares us to face temptation.  By overcoming it, he shows us the way to persevere.  

Christ is our example and our hope.

By the grace of God, we each have been given very special spiritual weapons to overcome sin and temptation.  Armed with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving we walk as a people of hope.  These weapons and this hope allows us to conquer temptation, change our habits, and begin anew.  If we are prepared and are mindful of our spiritual weapons, temptation and sin can be seen for what they are and stricken from their place in our lives.  It is in the desert that we learn to cast aside sin, place our hope in the Lord, and make room for his light that will fill our hearts and minds on Easter and shine for all the world to see.

Andrew Polaniecki
Director of Campus Ministry