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February 18, 2010

February 19th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 8 Period II.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for February 19th are Joyful.

  
    

Prayer Service 6:20 p.m.

Friday

February 19, 2010

 

February 18, 2010

 

Readings for First Sunday of Lent

  Deuternomy 26: 4-10

   ‘The priest will then take the basket from your hand and lay it before the altar of Yahweh your God. In the presence of Yahweh your God, you will then pronounce these words:

   “My father was a wandering Aramaean, who went down to Egypt with a small group of men, and stayed there, until he there became a great, powerful and numerous nation.The Egyptians ill–treated us, they oppressed us and inflicted harsh slavery on us.But we called on Yahweh, God of our ancestors. Yahweh heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our oppression;and Yahweh brought us out of Egypt with mighty hand and outstretched arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders.He brought us here and has given us this country, a country flowing with milk and honey.Hence, I now bring the first–fruits of the soil that you, Yahweh, have given me.”

               

Romans 10: 8-13

What does it say, then? The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith, the faith which we preach, that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. It is by believing with the heart that you are justified, and by making the declaration with your lips that you are saved. When scripture says: No one who relies on this will be brought to disgrace, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: the same Lord is the Lord of all, and his generosity is offered to all who appeal to him, for all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

 

Luke 4: 1-13

   Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert, for forty days being put to the test by the devil. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry. Then the devil said to him, ‘If you are Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf.’ But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says:

    Human beings live not on bread alone.

   Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and their splendour, for it has been handed over to me, for me to give it to anyone I choose.& Do homage, then, to me, and it shall all be yours.’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says:

     You must do homage to the Lord your God,
        him alone you must serve.’

   Then he led him to Jerusalem and set him on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are Son of God,’ he said to him, ‘throw yourself down from here, for scripture says:

       He has given his angels orders about you,
            to guard you,

and again:

 They will carry you in their arms
   in case you trip over a stone.’

But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says:

Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

Having exhausted every way of putting him to the test, the devil left him, until the opportune moment.

 

  

  First Sunday of Lent
February 25, 2007

 

INTRODUCTION – (Deut 26:4-10; Rom 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13) Any person who has a sense of spirituality knows deep down that we owe our Creator recognition, respect, worship, gratitude and honor. Throughout the history of the human race, honor and recognition were offered in a variety of ways. It was not unusual to find that many primitive tribes offered human sacrifices. God was not honored by this practice, and he revealed this to the Jewish people. Instead they made offerings of the various foods that sustained their lives to indicate they recognized that all they had, including life itself, came from God. In our first reading we hear Moses instructing the people in the proper way to offer their tithes and the first fruits of their land. The reading leads us into the  gospel where Jesus tells Satan, and what he tells him is a reminder to all of us, that we owe worship to God only.

HOMILY – This past Wednesday we began the holy season of Lent. The word “Lent” is an Old English word for spring. It’s an appropriate word. As the season of spring prepares the earth to break forth into new life, the season of Lent is a time to prepare to break forth, spiritually, into new life. I read that, historically, Lent started out as a time of prayer, fasting and doing good works for those who were preparing to become members of the Church at Easter. These are the people who are going through what we refer to today as the RCIA. Since early Christian communities were quite small (you know they killed people for being Christians then) it would have been an exciting time when a new member was preparing to embrace Christ through baptism. The early Christian communities would join with those preparing for baptism by also making this season a time of prayer, fasting and doing good works. Even though most Church goers today are only remotely conscious of new members joining the Church, it is still fitting that this season continue to be a time to prepare for new life. There may be some among us who are perfect but for most of us, our life in Christ can always benefit from some greater or lesser degree of spiritual renewal. In addition, there is our eternal life we all need to prepare for. In the early Church, those who had sinned seriously and publicly did public penance during this time of Lent. By wearing sackcloth and ashes and by asking for prayers, they could prepare themselves for returning to the community before Easter. This is how Lent took on a penitential aspect. Many people today use this time of Lent to repent of their mistakes of the past. Add to this the example of Jesus who prayed and fasted in preparation for his public ministry, and we can all find some kind of  motivation to make this a holy season of prayer, fasting and doing good works.

    Many of us grew up viewing Lent as a gloomy time when we had to practice difficult forms of self-discipline. Today there is a more joyful side to Lent if we see it as preparing us for a deeper relationship with God. Preparing for other important things in life sometimes requires hard work and self-discipline. Why should we think our spiritual life should somehow be different? St. Paul doesn’t think so. Self-discipline is not a bad thing even if it is sometimes hard. Psychologically a person who lacks self-discipline cannot be a mature or happy person, so it is a good thing to learn.

    Our world would be a little better and all of us would be a lot happier if each one of us decided to work harder on making ourselves a better person. As we begin the season of Lent, our Scripture readings at Mass will call us to conversion, to change our hearts, to turn a little, or maybe a lot more into the kind of person we know God wants us to be.

    As we move into the last two weeks of Lent, however, we begin to focus on Christ’s passion. A few years ago a movie entitled the Passion of the Christ came out. It was very moving and it helped us remember what Christ did for us to save us. We often forget. We often forget how much we owe our Creator. One reason why Sunday is dedicated to offering God worship and praise is so we don’t forget. We do not offer animals or other food as the Jews did. Instead, we have the perfect sacrifice. Our participation in the Mass unites us with the perfect act of worship and love and obedience offered to the Father by Jesus as he died on the cross.

    Our readings today put things in perspective by reminding us of the worship we owe God, our Creator.  They remind us we need more than material things to truly live and to be fully human: it’s not by bread alone that we live. They remind us God must take priority over everything else in our lives for God alone deserves our worship. I pray that everyone here will have a spiritually enriching Lent as we prepare for new and more abundant life in Christ.

 

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July 31, 1994

Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:

"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.

"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.

"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."

- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)

 

  

 

  


 

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