When we get to Easter, there are two symbols of the resurrection that we use in Church: fire and light (the Easter Candle) and water (the Font). Last week we reflected on water, and this week there are passages all about light – true light, that defeats the blindness of sin. Again, this would have been offered to those preparing for Baptism, but speaks to all of us who have been baptised, inviting us to be renewed in the light of Christ at Easter. Remember that one of the oldest titles of the newly baptised was “neophyte”, which means “newly enlightened”. There is a subtle link between the readings on this Sunday: in the first reading, David is anointed, and the Spirit of the Lord seizes on him. This anointing lights him along the right path - ‘no evil would I fear’ as the Psalm says. Then Paul tells us more about this light: it is Christ shining on us, calling us to live as children of light. All this is summed up in the Gospel, the marvellous story of the healing (by being ‘anointed’ with spittle) of the man born blind. Jesus is the light of the world
Today we celebrate the feast of St Benedict’s Transitus, his passing from this world to the next, with the sober joy characteristic of all Benedictine festivities, especially during Lent. The account Gregory the Great gives of his death in Book II of The Dialogues is strangely moving, despite all the typology he manages to cram into it. Benedict becomes the new Moses, not only law-giver but intercessor, the friend of God and, like him, ‘the humblest man alive’.
The analogy with Moses was one medieval writers loved to play with, and one can see why. What, perhaps, we modern Benedictines tend to forget is that what is true of Benedict ought, in some sense, to be true of us, too. There should be in every Benedictine a friend of God, one who intercedes for others, a truly humble person.
( With thanks to iBenedictines for this post! )
The Gospel of the third Sunday is the remarkable conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman by the well, the theme is water - which gives life, which cleanses, which is so necessary. This reading forms part of the catechesis given before Baptism at Easter: the candidates who would go into the water are invited to reflect on what that means. But more necessary than the water which gives life is the water which gives eternal life - the water of baptism, the water flowing from Jesus’ side on the cross. Even if your Church does not have any candidates preparing for Baptism, we will all renew our baptismal promises at Easter: we should take this opportunity to reflect on
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The three recommendations of Jesus. The three recommendations: to ask, to seek and to knock: “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you!” A person is asked. The response depends both on the person as well as on the insistence with which it is asked. To seek is done oriented by some criteria. The better the criteria, the more certainty one can have of finding what one is looking for. To knock at the door is done with the hope that there will be someone on the other side of the door, at home. Jesus completes the recommendation offering the certainty of the response: “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it will be opened; because anyone who asks receives, and anyone who seeks will find and to anyone who knocks the door will be opened”. That means that when we ask God, he listens to our petition. When we seek God, he allows Himself to be found (Is 5, 5-6). When we knock on the door of God’s house, he opens the door for us.
MORNING OF RECOLLECTION
1000 MASS & ADDRESS
1200 Angelus & Midday prayer
With Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
followed by lunch
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We are in Lent. The Liturgy presents texts which can help us to convert ourselves and to change our life. That which helps more in conversion are the facts of the history of the People of God. In today’s Gospel, Jesus presents two episodes of the past: Jonah and the Queen of the South, and transforms this into a mirror in such a way that one can discover in them God’s call to conversion.
1900 MASS http://ustre.am/UCOl
There are two versions of the Our Father: Luke (Lk 11, 1-4) and Matthew (Mt 6, 7-13). In Luke the Our Father is shorter. Luke writes for the communities which came from Paganism. In Matthew the Our Father is found in the Discourse on the Mountain, in the part where Jesus orientates the disciples in the practice of the three works of piety: alms (Mt 6, 1-4), prayer (Mt 6, 5-15) and fasting (Mt6, 16-18). The Our Father forms part of a catechesis for the converted Jews. They were accustomed to pray, but had some vices which Matthew tries to correct.
0930 MASS (live stream - http://ustre.am/UCOl )
In the Cycle of Sunday Readings, the oldest are those of Year A in Lent – these Gospels have accompanied the Church for many centuries. We must realise why: Lent was originally the time of immediate preparation of candidates for Baptism at Easter (something which has been reintroduced to the Church by RCIA): those already baptised used it as a time to prepare for the renewal of Baptismal promises. This is why so much of the Scripture in Lent is about Baptism, New Life and Salvation. What is the new life of Baptism? What are we set free from? What is sin? We begin Lent by hearing about sin and temptation; the Gospel will tell us of Jesus’ own temptations, something he shares with us, though he did not sin. The other Scripture readings prepare us for the Gospel, in which Jesus, the new Adam, triumphs over temptation.
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Gospel Reading - Matthew 9, 14-15
Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?'
Jesus replied, 'Surely the bridegroom's attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Fasting and abstinence from meat are universal practices which are actual. The Muslims have the fasting of the Ramadan, during which they neither eat, nor should they eat until the rising of the sun. Always more and for diverse reasons, persons impose upon themselves some form of fasting. Fasting is an important means to control oneself, and to dominate oneself, and this exists in almost all religions. It is also appreciated by sportsmen.
Even if fasting and abstinence are no longer universally observed today, the basic objective of this practice continues to remain unchanged and is a force which should animate our life: to participate in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Surrender one’s own life in order to be able to possess it in God. Become aware or conscious of the fact that the commitment with the Gospel is a one way journey, without returning, which demands losing one’s life in order to be able to possess and to find all things in full liberty.
• Which is the form of fasting which you practice? And if you do not practice any, which is the form which you could practice?
• How can fasting help me to prepare better for the celebration of Easter?
With thanks to OCarm lectio site for today
1900 HOLY HOUR & JESUS PRAYER
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Yesterday we enter into the time of Lent. Up until now the daily Liturgy followed the Gospel of Mark, step after step. Beginning yesterday until Easter, the sequence of the reading of the day will be given by the ancient tradition of Lent and of the Preparation for Easter. From the very first day, the perspective is that of the Passion, Death and Resurrection and of the sense which this mystery has for our life. This is what is proposed in the rather brief text of today’s Gospel. The text speaks of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus and affirms that the following of Jesus presupposes that we carry our cross after Jesus.
Lord our God,
you love us and you invite us
to share in your own life and joy,
through a personal decision.
Help us to choose you and life
and to remain ever loyal
to this basic option
by the power of Jesus Christ, your Son,
who was loyal to you and to us,
now and for ever.
1000 MASS http://ustre.am/UCOl
ALL SAINTS CHURCH
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