Posts made in February, 2020

Remove from your midst . . . malicious speech

Saturday after Ash Wednesday   Remove from your midst . . . malicious speech.    It can be easy to read these words and think they don’t really apply to us.   But have you ever said, “You’re not sorry!” when someone is trying to apologize to you?   Or “She deserves it” when something bad happens to someone you don’t like?   How about “You’re hopeless!” when you are feeling angry with a loved one? At one time or another, we have all thought and...

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This, rather, is the fasting that I wish

Friday after Ash Wednesday   This, rather, is the fasting that I wish.    The Israelites had such reverence for the holiness of God that they were careful to follow specific rules when they came to worship in the Temple.   Before prayer, for example, they had to perform certain cleansing rituals.   They abstained from certain foods to set themselves apart from the surrounding nations.   They fasted on the Day of Atonement to demonstrate their...

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Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live

Thursday after Ash Wednesday   Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.    Do you want Lent to be fruitful this year? Try thinking of it as a journey you’re taking with the disciples as Jesus prepares for his passion, death, and resurrection. You will hear Jesus preach and tell parables; you will see him heal and feed the needy. How will you respond? Each day, each step of the journey gives you another chance to choose to...

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Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning

Ash Wednesday   Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning.    Lent begins each year with this reading from the prophet Joel (Joel 2:12-18).   It’s clear that the Church chose this passage so that we too would return to God with our whole heart during Lent. For the Israelites, returning to God meant that everyone gathered together and begged the Lord to save them.   Together they also fasted, including those...

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God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble

7th Week in Ordinary Time   God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.   Some years ago, a parish priest and one of his deacons had a heated and open disagreement in front of many members of their parish.   They eventually worked out their differences, and after fully reconciling, they decided to stand up in front of the congregation and explain that they had forgiven each other.   They also asked everyone to forgive them for their...

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