FEASTING ON THE WORD
"If you meditate on the Scriptures it will appear to you in its brilliant splendor." ―St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Fourth Sunday of Lent (C)
Joshua 5:9A, 10-12 | Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 | 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 | Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Home. Hardly a word has such sentimental overtones. Home reminds us of feelings of warmth and welcome, of security, serenity and serendipity, of love, joy and peace. Home spells fun and games, so much good food and most restful sleep. A Major theme in our readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent, called “Laetare” (Rejoice) Sunday, is "Coming home".
Third Sunday of Lent (C)
Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15 | Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11 | 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12 | Luke 13:1-9
There are two perspectives toward suffering which we can have. “Suffering can either lead us to bitterness or inflame us with a sense of the divine.” The readings for the Third Sunday of Lent draw us to closely examine suffering and death.
Second Sunday of Lent (C)
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18 | Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14 | Philippians 3:17—4:1 | Luke 9:28b-36
Last Sunday, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil thrice but successfully resisted each test by using God’s Word. That desert encounter was a good reminder of how we must spiritually discipline ourselves through prayer, fasting and works of piety especially in this Season of Lent. Let us move on from that desert encounter as our Lord guide us to fully trust in his promises, discover our identities and climb down our "mountaintop experiences" to get to work and bless others.
First Sunday of Lent (C)
Deuteronomy 26:4-10 | Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15 | Romans 10:8-13 | Luke 4:1-13
As we start our journey through Lent, this Sunday's Gospel calls us to adopt the same confidence that Jesus had in the face of temptation: God's word alone will suffice. We can trust God to provide for our material needs. God's promise of protection can be trusted. We can trust God to be faithful to his promises. Finally, God alone is God. We worship God because God alone has dominion over us and our world.
Joel 2:12-18 | Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17 | 2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2 | Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
After the Gospel we will again be walking around wearing dirty black smudges. Palm ashes will be blessed, mixed with either holy oil or water, and marked with the sign of the cross on the forehead or sprinkled on the head. The minister, while imposing the ashes says, "Remember, man that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." (Cf. Gen. 3:19) or "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel." (Mark 1:15). Whatever formulary is used, it's message is simple: "Alalahanin mo, mamamatay ka rin!" (Remember that you will die). We are reminded of our mortality and our need to live faithfully in this world. Life is short so we have to live life well. In ancient days, people marked times of fasting, prayer, repentance, and remorse by placing ashes on their foreheads. The custom was prevalent in early days of Judaism: as found in 2 Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1-3, Job 42:6, and Jeremiah 6:26. Ashes are sacramentals. We express our brokenness and our readiness to change when we receive the ashes.
Jeff Jacinto, PhD, DHum