Daily Email

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Observing Jesus: The First Sunday of Lent

                                                              Observing Jesus:

The First Sunday of Lent

February 26, 2023

www.johnpredmoresj.com | predmore.blogspot.com

predmoresj@yahoo.com | 617.510.9673

Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18; Psalm 103; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48


          The point of the Genesis reading is to show that God wants us to be in such a close relationship where there are no boundaries as it was in the Garden, and our human nature caused a rupture in that friendship, and we have been yearning for the nearness of God ever since. Saint Paul in Romans 5 describes theologically what happened through the centuries, and he describes the importance of the one act of Jesus of Nazareth to reverse the effects of our human nature and to hold out salvation for believers. The obedience of faith of Jesus that led him to the Cross is what saves us. We relive that journey as we begin that season of Lent.


          Lent begins with Jesus being sent into the desert to deal with the very real temptations of human nature, and he shows us how he confronts the same types of decisions that we do. Each of us is tempted by honor, riches, and glory in different forms, and Jesus remains steadfast to his fundamental decision to act in accord with the reign of God. We must figure out how we are going to enter Lent with Jesus. Sometimes we set goals or practices for ourselves that come from our personal devotions. Those are quite fine if it helps one to align her or his life with Jesus as he teaches us about the obedience of faith.


          We are supposed to observe how Jesus relates to the people he encounters. We watch his interactions with his adversaries and friends alike, we notice how he spends his time, and we see how he stays faithful to his proclamation of faith, that God’s rule is already present in the world. When we became his friends, we decided fully and ultimately that we would join in choosing what he chooses, acts as he acts, and live as he lived, which means surrendering our humanity to God’s rule so that God may rule within us.


          So, Lent isn’t necessarily about what we can do to show that we are faithful disciples. Lent is about learning from Jesus himself how we are to live out the kingdom in our particular day and time. We do that by really unpacking Scripture, by dissecting it to see how Jesus may be speaking to us. We have to ask those types of questions in Scripture like we were lawyers, not as an intellectual pursuit, but so that we understand more fully the presence of Jesus, as a guide and friend, in our discernment and choices. He is continuing his work of saving souls and strengthening already formed friendships.


          We are not to suffer with Christ unless he asks us. We are not to carry the cross unless he asks us. We are not Christ. It is his Lent, his journey, and he simply wants us to be his companion on his mission. Our best response to him is to pray with him and ask such questions like, “What was it like?” or “What are you experiencing?” We are to simply walk with him and to be his friend, knowing that friendship places demands upon us, and we know that if Jesus asks us to do something, we must be ready to respond, “yes.” Are we ready to be the type of friend he seeks?


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading: 

Monday: (Leviticus 19) The Lord gives Moses ten commandments that he inscribes on stone tablets. 


Tuesday: (Isaiah 55) God’s word will issue forth from his mouth and shall not return until it has fulfilled his will.


Wednesday: (Jonah 3) Jonah set out to Nineveh asking them to proclaim a fast and then repent. The king does repent and the Lord dropped his threat because they turned from evil.


Thursday: (Esther 3) Queen Esther appeals to God for help in converting the king’s heart for hatred of the enemy that threatens them.

Friday: (Ezekiel 18) If the wicked turns from sinfulness and keeps the Lord’s statutes, he will surely live. Likewise, if a virtuous man becomes wicked, he shall die. 


Saturday: (Deuteronomy 26) Moses tells the people to observe the Lord’s statutes and decrees with their whole heart and soul. The Lord will stand by you. 



Monday: (Matthew 25) Jesus tells his disciples about the last judgment when the goats and sheep will be separated. The measuring stick is the mercy shown to the most vulnerable.


Tuesday: (Matthew 6) The disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. He tells them not to pray like the pagans, who seek honor and glory, and then gives them the Lord’s prayer. 


Wednesday: (Luke 11) Jesus chastises the crowd that seeks a sign, but none will be given to them. Because of Jonah’s preaching, the king and people repented.


Thursday: (Matthew 7) Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. The Father is generous, especially to those who love him.


Friday: (Matthew 5) Your righteousness must surpass the levels of the scribes and Pharisees in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Show righteousness by quickly settling disputes. 


Saturday: (Matthew 5) Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Heavenly Father. Be perfect as the Father is perfect.


Saints of the Week


March 1: Katherine Drexel (1858-1955), was from a wealthy Philadelphian banking family and she and her two sisters inherited a great sum of money when her parents died. She joined the Sisters of Mercy and wanted to found her own order called the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to work among the African and Native Americans. Her inheritance funded schools and missions throughout the South and on reservations. A heart attack in 1935 sent her into retirement. 


This Week in Jesuit History


  • February 26, 1611. The death of Antonio Possevino, sent by Pope Gregory XIII on many important embassies to Sweden, Russia, Poland, and Germany. In addition to founding colleges and seminaries in Cracow, Olmutz, Prague, Braunsberg, and Vilna, he found time to write 24 books. 
  • February 27, 1767. Charles III banished the Society from Spain and seized its property. 
  • February 28, 1957. The Jesuit Volunteer Corps began. 
  • March 1, 1549. At Gandia, the opening of a college of the Society founded by St Francis Borgia. 
  • March 2, 1606. The martyrdom in the Tower of London of St Nicholas Owen, a brother nicknamed "Little John." For 26 years he constructed hiding places for priests in homes throughout England. Despite severe torture he never revealed the location of these safe places. 
  • March 3, 1595. Clement VIII raised Fr. Robert Bellarmine to the Cardinalate, saying that the Church had not his equal in learning. 

March 4, 1873. At Rome, the government officials presented themselves at the Professed House of the Gesu for the purpose of appropriating the greater part of the building.

No comments:

Post a Comment