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Daily Lenten Reflections


Easter Sunday, April 12

John 20:1-9

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake;
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning
and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him
and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply,
“Do not be afraid!
I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples,
‘He has been raised from the dead,
and he is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him.’
Behold, I have told you.”
Then they went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

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Reflection:

Today, as we celebrate Easter Sunday, we do so in a unique way in the midst of unsettling and uncertain times. Instead of gathering in fellowship at our parish churches, we must observe today’s Mass via television, radio or FacebookLive. Instead of coming together with extended family and friends for a special meal, we find ourselves “sheltering in place” and perhaps feeling a bit isolated from the loved ones in our lives. For much of this Lenten season, our world has been turned upside down with ambiguity, unease, confusion and anguish being wrought by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

In today’s Gospel reading, John offers a startlingly concise account of the Resurrection. It is largely devoid of adjectives and adverbs. It also provides us with very little sense of the multitude of feelings and emotions that must have been swirling in the hearts and minds of Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and John when they found the tomb no longer occupied by Jesus’ body. The lone exceptions are we are told that John “saw and believed” while Mary Magdalene and Simon Peter “did not yet understand”.

While doing my best to emulate John’s sense of certainty, I must confess to feeling a bit more in recent weeks like Mary Magdalene and Simon Peter, as I have attempted to understand and reconcile the pain, suffering and anxiety that is presently spanning the globe. I have struggled with being physically disconnected from the members of our campus community and the remarkable work my colleagues do on behalf of our students. I am saddened that our graduating students are not experiencing the senior year they deserve and that our faculty and staff are unable to celebrate their accomplishments in person with them. I also have grieved when hearing the stories of those whose lives have been cut short or whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19.

I remain very grateful, though, that I am not alone in my faith journey as a member of our supportive inclusive and community at CBU. Earlier this week, during a particularly challenging day, I was fortunate to receive a Holy Week message from Brother Michael Fehrenbach. During a time when we all are trying to come to grips with a world that is markedly different from the one we experienced at the start of Lent, I would like to close this reflection by sharing with you the following words of Brother Michael:

“Our faith tells us that descent – the Kenosis of the Christ, the passion itself, lying in the tomb, and the descent into hell – leads us to transformation. New life comes through descent and not through the ascent of climbing ladders to social or economic success. We are a resurrection people. As we celebrate the Triduum and the Resurrection, may we continue our transformation and become aware that we are, in fact, the love who God is. May we emerge from our own tombs with a new way of looking at life. Once we know who we are and whose we are, we cannot help but become the Good News and live the way who is Jesus.”

On this Easter day, we ask Saint John Baptist de La Salle to pray for us along with our families, our friends and our neighbors. May we remember every day that we are now, always and everywhere in the Holy Presence of God. And may Jesus life in our hearts forever.

 — John T. Shannon
President, Christian Brothers University 


Holy Saturday, April 11

Matthew 28:1-10

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake;
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning
and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him
and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply,
“Do not be afraid!
I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples,
‘He has been raised from the dead,
and he is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him.’
Behold, I have told you.”
Then they went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

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Reflection:

Yesterday, we remembered the agony and heartbreak experienced by the betrayal and crucifixion of our Lord; today, we gain a glimmer of hope from the angel at the tomb. Yet, there is still so much sadness, loss, and confusion for the immediate followers of Christ whom had spent the last several years following Jesus anywhere.

One has to imagine that Mary and Mary Magdalene were devastated by the death of Jesus given their unwavering devotion to him. In an effort to page homage to Christ, the two women went to the tomb to pray and to ensure all was well. Then, out of nowhere, we get the visual of earthquake; appearance of an angel robed in white; guards who have been immobilized due to fear; and the revelation that Jesus is no longer in the tomb. If you and I were there with the two at the tomb, what would we be thinking ourselves? Take a few minutes and ponder that question.

Then, God – through the angel – provides the two women another opportunity to demonstrate their obedience; they have been tasked with sharing the news of the resurrection with his most loyal followers. When panic would paralyze many, the women again show their loyalty and leave to share the message that has been entrusted to them.

In our 2020 worldview, news travels fast – some of it accurate; some inaccurate. Imagine this tweet

BREAKING: Jesus of Nazareth, 33, no longer in tomb. Witnesses say he has risen to be with His Father. After tragic crucifixion days ago, authorities are investigating. More developing… #Resurrection

Would this tweet get your attention? Would you like it or retweet it? Our 2020 Lenten experience has been a unique ride; yet, in this last week, we have relived the last supper; the betrayal; the final hours and death of Jesus; and now, the assurance that He is no longer bound by his humanity; and that the resurrection is a constant reminder that our purpose in this life is to grow closer to God and return to our Heavenly Father.

Our Lenten journey cannot be winding down; we are only just beginning. For the next year, may we commit to sharing the context of the tweet with our neighbor – Jesus is no longer in the tomb; he is alive and there is always more to learn as our story with Him continually develops.

 — Campus Ministry


Good Friday, April 10

John 18:1-19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, “I AM, “
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
“Whom are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
“I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said,
“I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
 
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
“I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing.  Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said.”
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
“Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him,
“If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
“I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
“Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
“What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered and said to him,
“If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him,
“We do not have the right to execute anyone, “
 
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered,
“Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered,
“I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered,
“My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
“Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered,
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
“I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again,
“Not this one but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
“Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
“Crucify him, crucify him!”
 
Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered,
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
“Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
“Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him,
“You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
“If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge’s bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
“Behold, your king!”
They cried out,
“Take him away, take him away!  Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,

“Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
“What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
“Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.

This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.

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Reflection:

Growing up, Good Friday was always synonymous with rain and thunderstorms. It felt that every year without fail it would be stormy and gloomy outside, which was fitting because I was so sad that Jesus had died. This sadness was only magnified by the solemnness displayed in our yearly Passion plays my grade school would perform. Though I was always a part of the production, I never got a major role (apparently my teacher never gave much thought to my potential acting career) which allowed me to watch the events unfold in detail. I always felt like stopping the portrayal and telling everyone we don’t want to do this, we don’t want Jesus to die. I always felt guilty just standing by especially when I played the role of one of the sleeping disciples.  I had fallen asleep on the job, if I had just stayed awake Jesus would have been saved.

Saved, what a poignant word to use. The Passion of Jesus the Christ was all about saving, but not about me saving him, quite the opposite. As we look at the beautifully detailed description of the events leading up to and following Jesus’ crucifixion, we are reminded of the great lengths he went through in order that we can be saved. The strength in which Jesus “drinks the cup that the Father gave him” is unbelievable. So often I ask Jesus to give me strength for one thing or another, I never stop and think about the strength Jesus displayed so that “I might have life and have it abundantly.” Today however, is a day I specifically stop and think about all Jesus has sacrificed and the beauty of his life and death and what it has achieved for all of us. But I shouldn’t just reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice on Good Friday, but should be something I give thanks for in all I do and in who I am. As I go throughout my day I should ask myself this question. How do I show the sacrificial of love of Christ to others?

 — Campus Ministry


Thursday, April 9

John 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
     for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’  and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

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Reflection:

In today’s Gospel Jesus and his disciples are gathering to celebrate the feast of Passover. Jesus knew that this would be the last time that He met with His disciples and He wanted to take full advantage of that time. He knew that tomorrow he would be dying, as Judas had already handed Him over. When Jesus gathered His disciples, He took the time to wash their feet. At this point in history this was a job of a servant. Why would Jesus wash their feet? Even the disciples were thrown off. Peter said “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” This was intentional. Jesus stripped Himself of the high status of teacher and master that the disciples had known Him as. He humbled Himself to teach a valuable lesson. He modeled for His disciples an told them to wash the feet of one another. He wanted them to be humble servants to those that followed Him. 

The most important aspect of the Last Supper that is talked about in the second reading is the institution of the Eucharist. Jesus knew the very next day He would die, and He wanted to give the disciples a way to carry out His work when He was no longer with them. “the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” Jesus instituted this at the Last Supper, and these words are still spoken by priests all over the world when they present us with the Eucharist.

What can we take away from the readings of today? Today we remember the institution of the Eucharist and what the Eucharist means. Receiving the Eucharist is receiving Jesus. He is in us, and we are able to be more like Jesus in the process. Today we are reminded of the valuable lesson of being humble servants. How can we better be humble servants? Who in our lives and communities need to be served and how can be best serve them?

 — Campus Ministry


Wednesday, April 8

Matthew 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘“
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

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Reflection:

Today’s Gospel starts off with the betrayal of Judas. Judas goes to the chief priests and barters with them; he is willing to hand over Jesus to them in exchange for money. Judas accepts the offer of 30 pieces of silver. 

In the meantime, Jesus and the rest of the disciples are trying to find a place to celebrate Passover. Jesus orders his disciples to go into the city and tell a certain man they will be arriving for Passover. 

When the evening comes, and all of the disciples are sitting down for their meal, Jesus tells them that one of them will betray him. Jesus knows it will be Judas, and at this time Judas denies that he will betray Jesus.

We remember Judas today as the betrayer, the one who messed up. Of course, we know that Jesus still cared for him and forgave him, but why do we still think of Judas as a betrayer? Judas did not accept Jesus and his forgiveness. He did not let Jesus and his love into him and heal the wounds of what he had done. Peter betrayed Jesus too, remember? Why don’t we see Peter as solely a betrayer? Jesus forgave Peter, and Peter accepted Jesus fully. He believed, and because of this faith we now know Peter as one of the greatest disciples, and the first pope of the Catholic Church. There is power in letting Jesus in, He wants to be let in to our hearts. 

What parts of yourself are you having trouble letting Jesus into? Are you quick to anger, impatient, or someone who lies a lot? Let Jesus in. Learn from Judas. In two days, we remember Good Friday; let Jesus take your sin, your burdens, and your false identities with Him to the cross. Forgive yourself as He forgives you, and be open to the wonders of letting His light into your soul this Easter. 

 — Campus Ministry


Tuesday, April 7

Isaiah 49:1-6

Hear me, O islands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

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Reflection:

Today, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, as a religious fraternal order, celebrate their Founder – St. John Baptist De LaSalle. For the Brothers, lay partners, students, and supporters of the Lasallian mission over the last 300 years, today is truly special day recalling that in all things we remain in the Holy Presence of God and that Jesus lives in our heart. Without De LaSalle’s vision, there would be no CBHS, CBU, or the countless other Lasallian ministries across the world. Let that sink in… without this man or his followers in 17th century France there would be no CBU in Memphis in 2020 at the corner of East Parkway and Central. What a legacy.

Today’s first reading – while referencing biblical times – draws strong parallels to the story of the Founder. Indulging in some creative license, hear De La Salle’s story from this perspective – although the Founder himself would be far more gracious.

Hear me Brothers,

Listen followers in 17th century France, The LORD called me from birth for a purpose I could not have imagined, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name and tasked me with taking care of my family. He made of me a sharp-edged sword – one of vision and purpose; yet not without struggle

and concealed me in the shadow of his arm and challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. He made me a polished arrow and a leader of like-minded men, in his quiver he hid me and kept me on course when my doubts overwhelmed me. You are my servant, he said to me – and as unworthy as I felt to follow His path, I knew it was my way to demonstrate His glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain as my original vision evolved and many of the first brothers deserted me, I began to think it was all for nothing; I had uselessly, spent my strength, Yet – at the end of my life – I realized my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That the Christian Brothers and its mission may be brought back to Him and all Lasallians gathered to him; And we are all – in spite of our brokenness - made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up future Lasallians, and restore our lives and those of our neighbor; Lasallians, I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth because of your example.

Lasallians, today we are challenged to be the light to the nations; an example of salvation and servant-leadership – just as our Founder was centuries ago. Join us today at 4:00pm via @cbuministry on Instagram for a community-wide gathering to not only remember that we are together and by association a faith community; but also, to celebrate the legacy and vision of one man who has truly changed our world.

 — Wilson Phillips 
Student Life


Monday, April 6

John 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

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Reflection:

As we enter the last week of this uniquely individualized Lenten season, we are greeted with a Gospel reading that is familiar to many. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus – all siblings – who have personal relationships with Christ. One might imagine that this dinner could have been a one-time meal of gratitude for Christ and his actions as it relates to raising Lazarus from the dead. In it, we have two very unique perspectives and methods by which the sisters show their devotion to and love for Jesus. Martha, the Type A personality, seems to be the planner. She strives to ensure her house is immaculate and all is prepared for this special meal – all I’s are dotted an T’s crossed. Mary, on the other hand, demonstrates her loyalty through acts of service to the Lord – anointing his body with fragrant oils. It seems as though both sisters are doing what they think is best to show Jesus and his followers that they are welcome in the family home.

Then, as we gain perspective on the motives of Judas Iscariot, we see his indignation for a seemingly lost opportunity. In his desire to seize the opportunity for profit, Judas masks his desire with a feigned effort to help the poor. And as we’ve come to expect from Christ, he challenges the “normative thinking” and validates Mary’s actions as way to show honor. Yet again, all were mystified and confused and Jesus foreshadowed his own existence. No one truly understood what was happening – yet the conversion of many to the teachings of Christ certainly challenged those with political and religious clout.

We can learn a lot from this story – some of us are Martha’s; others Mary; but it really does tke both to truly appreciate the message of Christ. Whether you are the preparer or the one who strives to be truly present in the moment – all are welcome to dine with Christ. Or maybe you’re the one – whom, at times – misses the bigger picture due to self-centeredness or impure motives.

Whomever you identify with in the Gospel, know that Holy Week is a week of preparing the heart and understanding the confusion – in hopes that we may be truly present with Christ on Easter Sunday.

 — Campus Ministry


Sunday, April 5

Matthew 27:11-54

Jesus stood before the governor, Pontius Pilate, who questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, "Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha
— which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
‘Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”

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Reflection:

Here we are, Palm Sunday. This is the beginning of the lead up to Easter, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This feels surreal as we are finally coming to the close of Lent, and what a Lent it was for all of us. As I read this scripture passage I can’t help but be drawn to two figures within this narrative. Two figures that as I reflect upon them they help me think about how I am interacting within the world today.

The first is Pontius Pilate. We all know him or at the very least have heard his name. Pontius Pilate the man who washed his hands of condemning Jesus. The man who played a major role yet wanted no part in the decision or ramifications. I can fall into this way of living or thinking so often. I want to stay neutral or even worse save my self any headache by not standing up for what I believe in. I feel this temptation even more in the time we currently find ourselves. I shouldn’t care what is happening in the world because it doesn’t affect me or those I care about, wrong. Just because I can’t leave the house doesn’t mean I can’t help in other ways. Most importantly through prayer.

Which brings me to the second character, Simon the Cyrenian. The man who wanted to stay out of it but was thrusted into the thick of things. The man who in Jesus’ final hours helped him carry his cross. There is so much inspiration I receive from thinking about this figure. He was helper even though he didn’t know it. When it came down to it, he got involved, he helped lighten the burden. Now taking inspiration to today’s world, who do I need to reach out to in order to help lighten another’s load. Who is down and out or just a little weighed down in regards to our current situation? To whom can my presence be one of comfort and support? As, I go about my day and this Holy Week, I must ask myself. Will I be more like Pontius Pilate or more like Simon the Cyrenian?

 — Campus Ministry


Saturday, April 4

Jeremiah 31:10,11-12ABCD,13

R.    (see 10d)  The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
R.    The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings:
The grain, the wine, and the oil,
the sheep and the oxen.
R.    The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R.    The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.

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Reflection:

It is so nice to be comfortable. So often I don’t want to do a certain thing because it might bring me out of my comfort zone. So much so that it can be more than just a crutch, it can be a hindrance to grow. I have heard the phrase “to live is to change, to live well is to change often” but still I can be fearful. As a source of inspiration I to turn to scripture as a way to offer me comfort but also challenge me as a person.

This is where today’s Responsorial Psalm offers that. To think that God is my shepherd, how can I even fear? In times of worry or fear I need to remember that I am apart of God’s flock and he is with me. Not just in times or comfort but also in times where I risk to be more, the times I am most vulnerable. Often, it is not doing something as much as it is hearing something God is trying to speak into my heart.

What do I need the courage to listen to? What comforts are stopping me from growing?

 — Campus Ministry


Friday, April 3

Psalm 18:2-3A,3BC-4,5-6,7

R.    (see 7)  In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R.    In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R.    In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
The breakers of death surged round about me,
the destroying floods overwhelmed me;
The cords of the nether world enmeshed me,
the snares of death overtook me.
R.    In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
In my distress I called upon the LORD
and cried out to my God;
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
R.    In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

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Reflection:

​“I love you, O Lord, my strength, O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.”

In the midst of schoolwork, household chores, errands, and keeping myself well in this time of sickness, I often find myself exhausted. Deadlines march ever closer as my list of assignments seems to grow longer, and I wonder if there will ever be time to truly rest again. On top of that, trips away from the house must be planned with caution, and Mass is not being offered publicly. Although there are far worse situations to be in, that does not make going such a long time without seeing friends, visiting family, going to work, and receiving the Eucharistany easier to bear.

​Now, more than ever, prayer and trust in God is essential. When I feel overwhelmed, annoyed, and afraid, the only comfort I have comes from knowing that God hears me. In this way, God is my rock of refuge, the only point of solid ground that can be trusted in an ocean of sinking sand. Maybe you are not as busy as I am, or maybe you are. Whatever the case is, today I invite you to join me in calling upon the Lord to be our shelter and make us His own. He loves you, and You are precious in His eyes (Isaiah 43:4). Never forget that you have a Father who cares.

 — Caleb Parrish  
Class of 2021



Thursday, April 2

John 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

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Reflection:

​In the Gospel reading today, we see what distinguishes Jesus Christ from every other religious and philosophical figure throughout human history: His identity. The modern picture of Jesus often overlooks the reality that He was not the Messiah people were looking for. Then, the resistance stemmed primarily from misplaced religious zeal. It was thought that God’s anointed one would never surprise God’s people. Rather, the Messiah was supposed to establish a tangible, political kingdom on earth that all nations would finally yield to, creating peace- why would anyone “on God’s side” have an issue with Him? Yet, as we see, Jesus claimed, “Whoever keeps my word will never see death,” and He was accused of being possessed for it. Similarly, it seems that the modern confusion over who Jesus is comes from a desire to strip from Him even the hint of controversy or contradiction to ourselves and the ideas we find comfortable. Like those who accused Him, we try to make Jesus fit into a mold we can understand: a man of peace, a philosopher, a spiritual guru, a miracle worker, a religious reformer, a social justice warrior, a traditionalist, a political revolutionary, a good person.

​Certainly, Jesus may possess some of the traits we like to project onto Him. Jesus was kind, wise, concerned for the poor, and a miracle worker, among other things. However, none of these truly differentiate Jesus from any other human being. People like you and me can become just about any of these things (although miracles may sometimes be a stretch for us). In fact, that may be precisely why we can be so drawn to boxing Jesus in: if He was only a nice wonderworker with some good ideas who lived a long time ago, I can safely ignore Him, and maybe adopt one or two of the old maxims attributed to Him if I see fit. However, as we hear today, this is not who Jesus says He is. 

​“Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” In response to a barrage of questions and accusations about who He thinks He is, Jesus uses the name reserved for God alone: I AM. This is profound, divisive, controversial; there is no easy way to brush this claim to the side. Jesus’ listeners were so moved that they tried to stone Him, and they later succeeded in crucifying Him. If Jesus is, somehow, the divine Son of God, then His words matter. As we have heard in the other Gospel readings this Lent, Jesus indeed has the power to change us- to correct, to heal, to resurrect, to forgive. May we all take advantage of this strange time of quarantine and allow Jesus to speak His true name into our own hearts. Ask Him, “Lord, break my image of You, that I may truly come to know and love who You are.”

 — Caleb Parrish  
Class of 2021 


Wednesday, April 1

Daniel 3:52,53,54,55,56

R.    (52b)  Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!

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Reflection:

We are in the midst of a new experience for me and you --- one that I am inclined to tell most everyone to forget; game is over; I am going home --- one way! But one just cannot really do that can we. I have another side of me that about every twenty years or so suggests to me that just maybe I ought to give up going to church for Lent. I have done that --- either I will be found within at a church other than my home church, or maybe just use this time to go “church shopping” --- a so so pastime if I say so myself. My last time was around five years ago after a very uncomfortable experience at an Ash Wednesday service, when I decided to give up church once more. It worked until a close friend told me to get with it; get back in church!

Now the tables have been turned --- church going is not available right now, and boy, do I miss it! I am sort of fumbly mumbly when it comes to using the Laudate app on my cell phone. My Episcopal Book of Common Prayer is quite useful, but one needs to be very sure where and what for is one thumbing through one’s Book of Common Prayer. This past Sunday I goofed up and watched a rerun of a Bob Hope – Bing Crosby “Road” movie, and missed all but the final Blessing of the televised Sunday Mass. All of this has made me realize just how precious and important time spent within the church really is.

Hopefully, the current situation will pass and once more we will be have the honor to “enter into his courts with praise.” Today’s Psalm reading is one of the canticles for Daily Morning Prayer in the Episcopal Church. Know it well from my days in the choir and leading Morning Prayer in the absence of clergy.

 — Andrew Morgret  
Accounting Professor 


Tuesday, March 31

John 8:21-30

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come.”
So the Jews said,
“He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
He said to them, “You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins.”
So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

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Reflection:

In our gospel today, Jesus is trying to tell people that He is one with the Father and was sent by Him to share with them the good news of the kingdom of God. He also refers to his crucifixion and resurrection when he tells them “when you have lifted up the Son of Man then you will know that I am He” . This reminds us of the gravity of his salvation, and and opens our hearts to his love for us as individuals. He is speaking this to prepare and open the eyes of his followers. He wants them to know why He came, and why He will ultimately die.

It is important to be reminded over and over again of how Jesus spoke of His life, His mission. He knew why He was put on this earth, and knew what His sacrifice of His life would bring. How can we seek Jesus more personally in efforts to greater understand the impact He has made on our lives?

 — Campus Ministry


Monday, March 30

John 8:1-11

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

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Reflection:

Today in the Gospel Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives and is approached by some Pharisees and scribes. They bring a woman who has been caught committing adultery. They bring her to Jesus and ask what they should do with her. They remind Jesus that Moses commanded this offence to result in stoning. Jesus boldly spoke to them and told them that that the person without sin would throw the first stone. Neither threw a stone, and Jesus stood before the woman and forgave her for adultery.

We must not focus on finding the flaws and sins in others. This is senseless, as we are all human and commit sin more often than we’d like to admit. Jesus is the only one who needs to know of that sin, and as we see in this Gospel he handles it with forgiveness and love. This Lent, let us focus on our own actions, and do our best to reduce the sin in our lives. Lent is also a great time to run to Jesus and seek forgiveness for all the burden of sin on our heart. Let us do that before turning a finger at another person’s flaws.

 — Campus Ministry


Sunday, March 29

John 11:3-7,17,20-27,33b-45

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
+Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
Your brother will rise.”
Martha said,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

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Reflection:

This Gospel is the account of Jesus saving a loved one, Lazarus from the dead. Jesus gets the news that his friend Lazarus has passed away. Lazarus had already been put in a tomb and left for four days. Jesus is led to the grave and tells Martha to remove the stone from the grave. Jesus cries in a loud voice “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus come out wrapped in his burial cloths, fully alive.

In this passage we are reminded of the miracles that Jesus performed, and we are reminded that he is the resurrection and the life. During this Lent, let us seek to be spiritually alive. Let us allow Jesus to ignite a fire in our hearts to seek him and let him work in the same way that he brought Lazarus back to life.

 — Campus Ministry


Saturday, March 28

John 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.

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Reflection:

In today’s Gospel the title of Jesus is being discussed. Is he a prophet? Is he the Christ? They were confused and this discussion of title brought about conflict. People were being encouraged by Jesus and believed him to be the Messiah, and some believed this was a lie and wanted him arrested. This reminds me of scenarios we still see today. When people make bold claims about themselves our gut reaction is to say “well who do they think they are”? Anger and distrust can be behind these words and I see many parallels in that to today’s Gospel.

Let us today be reminded of who Jesus is. He is the Messiah who took away our sins. He did not run away from those who did not believe him. Instead he faced it, even when he knew it would ultimately lead to his death. Let us follow his lead, proudly proclaim we are Christians, and focus on our relationship with Him this Lent.

 — Campus Ministry


Friday, March 27

Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 AND 23

R.    (19a)  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R.    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R.    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R.    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

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Reflection:

During this Lent and due to the state of the world, I was so encouraged by the Responsorial Psalm which reads “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted”. There are so many broken hearts in the world right now. People are sick, loved ones are dying, jobs are being lost, opportunities have been put on pause, and events are cancelled. The weight of COVID-19 is so heavy; it was unexpected, and it affects us all in one way or another. 

It is important to remind ourselves that God is with us in our present state of being heartbroken. He’s hears us cry out in distress when we get lonely, restless, and feel far from Him. He’s with us when we run to Him and pray that someday soon, this will be over. He feels our pain and knows our hearts. He is close to all of us who are brokenhearted. 

— Campus Ministry


Thursday, March 26

John 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

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Reflection:

In today’s Gospel Jesus is challenging his listeners to accept Him. He mentions John who has a testimony that shines and burns like a lamp, and says that there is more to a human testimony. He challenges his listeners to seek beyond world examples, and even scripture to go deeper with Him. He wants them to accept Him, who testifies on behalf of God the Father. 

This is a great reminder to us, even today, to focus on what is important in our faith life. What are we putting first? Is it connections with people who challenge your faith? Is it reading the works of theologians who offer deep and meaningful perspective? Is it diving into your Bible and keeping up with readings? Although all of these are wonderful and filling in our faith lives, I believe Jesus would remind us that there is more. We, as Christians, need to accept Jesus fully as he urged his listeners to in today’s Gospel. 

— Campus Ministry


Wednesday, March 25

Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

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Reflection:

The Gospel reading today is a familiar one – God appearing to the Mary and unveiling what her future will entail. What a unique set of circumstances for Mary – up until this moment, she was just an everyday individual like any of us. There was nothing apparent to the reader that would set her apart from any other young girl; yet, God chose her for a specific and life-altering commitment. Think for a moment, would you have felt worthy if God had called you to be the earthy parents of Christ? I’m certain that if we answer honestly, our responses and our doubts would not differ greatly from those recorded in scripture. Yet, I am continually amazed by Mary’s ultimate response, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord/ May it be done to me according to your word.” In your relationship with God, do you fully accept the will of God unconditionally or is it more of a bargaining chip?

Too, we have the revelation that Mary’s cousin – Elizabeth – will be blessed with a child at her old age. It is in this moment, that we receive another greatest reminder, “for nothing will be impossible for God.” For all of us, in all facets of our life, this is a life-altering reminder. How often are we overwhelmed by our own individual circumstances? Imagine all that God balances. And His response is always, “nothing is impossible.”

As we continue in this time of quarantine and separation – where fear and doubt are easily felt – may we recall the faith and certainty of Mary’s response. May we be as bold as she was to say I’m here to serve whomever and however I may. For the remainder of Lent, may we recall that God sees the entire picture while our perspective is only a pixel. May we trust – today and always – that nothing is impossible for God.

— Campus Ministry
 


Tuesday, March 24

John 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
“Do you want to be well?”
The sick man answered him,
“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
“It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.”
He answered them, “The man who made me well told me,
‘Take up your mat and walk.’“
They asked him,
“Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
“Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.

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Reflection:

If you know me, you know that of today’s readings, I would gravitate towards the Gospel.  A man – shunned by the world and the community of which he was a part – seeks healing from Jesus.  At first, I doubt the lame man knew exactly what his future would entail after this encounter with Christ.  For 38 years, the man had been physically challenged – laying at the gate seeking a miracle.  For him, this interaction would have been the same as he had with countless others – a simple request for assistance to the springs in hopes of healing.  As the man was pleading his case, Christ knew what he was about to do – and the ramifications it would cause.  But as was often the case, Jesus unassumingly made it about the miracle and not about himself.  He drew no attention to himself and it was only after further investigation that those who wanted to silence him furthered their plans.

As a 34- year-old man, who has been physically-challenged since birth, this story resonates with me on several levels.  I’m sure that we both felt rejected, lost, and uncertain for our future given our circumstances;   And I’m not sure I would have felt anything but despair as Jesus approached; yet I’m hopeful that if the roles were reversed, I would have been as loyal as the lame man.   Sure, I would love for the Lord to come to me one day and say,“ Wilson, you’re healed;” though, I don’t see that in my immediate future.  Without hesitation and doubt, I hope I would have the same reaction as the man who was rewarded for his faithfulness.  Christ will always reward those whose faith is unwavering. 

Lent is all about a season or thought-provoking, soul-searching renewal.  Today, and everyday, we are challenged to take up our mat and carry it – sharing the Good News and healing power of a committed relationship with Christ.

— Wilson Phillips 
Student Life


Monday, March 23

Psalm 30:2, AND 4,5-6,11-12A AND 13B

R.    (2a)  I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
“Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

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Reflection:

In this time of self-quarantine and separation from our friends, family, and campus community – our “new normal” seems awfully unfamiliar.  We have grown accustomed to spending our days together in the classroom or in our offices; our nights together in  Alfonso, the library, or the BUC; and our weekends together supporting our student-athletes or exploring Memphis together.  This truly is a new and unsettling time.  Yet, in the responsorial psalm, we are reminded of the faithfulness of God in any circumstance.

If we let ourselves, we can easily grow anxious or despair.  Not only in these days, but anytime we lose focus on the bigger picture and the opportunities before us; we allow other forces or the opinions of others to have a power over us.  How often, when we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders are we left second-guessing all of our decisions?  And yet, how many times, have our situations ended up “working out” in a way that we could not have initially imagined?  I call those moments “God-incidents” where we hear that we are being rescued from our current situation.  Have you had any “God-incidents” lately?

As we look to the remainder of Lent and beyond, may we follow the urgings of the psalm: separate us from our insecurities; let our anger thrive only for a moment; our goodwill last a lifetime; and turn our mourning into celebration.  We serve a God who has rescued us from our past, guides us in our present, and prepares us for our future.

— Campus Ministry


Sunday, March 22

Ephisians 5:8-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, it says:
 
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

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Reflection:

We have all been in a situation where we have found ourselves stumbling in the dark. As we stub our toe or bang our knee in a pitch black room, it is not only frustrating it is dangerous. Once we find the light switch or turn a lamp on, we have an immediate sense of relief. In our second reading today, we are called to be that sense of relief to others and to be that light.

Light can be so comforting and warm. It is easy to call to mind a memory that involves light. A beautiful sunrise, a bonfire, or even a light show but we do not have the same fondness if we try to call to mind a time of darkness. We know how powerful darkness can be and even in the darkest of rooms a tiny flame from a candle can be so bright. As Christians we are called to not only bring light to others but to be that light. It is one thing to say how important our faith is, it is another to live it out. As we go about our day today I want to challenge us to think about these two questions. Who has been a visible source of light in my life? How can I bring the light of Christ to others today?

— Campus Ministry


Saturday, March 21

Luke 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week,
and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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Reflection:

Today’s Gospel challenges me right to the core of who I am. Which I am pretty sure was the focus of Jesus’ parable, so well done! The last line leaves the listener thinking which one am I? “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” It is not often in my life where I think, Oh Lord let me be the sinner! This parable once again lets me do an inventory of my heart and has me weigh how I interact with the world around me, specifically those around me.

I understand wanting to be proud of my accomplishments and for who God created me to be but I can take that and turn it into pride. A type of pride that places myself above others in a way that looks down upon them. When we compare ourselves to others it is so easy to stack the points up in our favor.

I feel like at times I can even use my “humility” to be prideful. Oh look at them they are asking for attention, I am not therefore I am more humble. If you have to flaunt our humility, reality check, it’s not humility. The Gospel today challenges us to turn our true heart towards God, not what we would like our heart to be. I am a sinner and in my sin, I reminded to turn to God in that sin.

— Campus Ministry


Friday, March 20

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself

is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

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Reflection:

In this Gospel Jesus is approached by a scribe and was asked: “Which is the first of all of the commandments?”. Jesus answered and said “The first is this: …You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I imagine that if this were to happen today, Jesus would be in a spotlight. In a similar way that reporters would be asking models their skincare secrets, athletes their workout tips, and actors their biggest advice on how to grow, they would be asking Jesus the greatest commandment. The world would be watching, on edge of their seat, waiting for the grand answer. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love. That’s it. I would assume that this answer would have been a shock to most because of the seeming simplicity of it.

The scribe was not as shocked as I imagine people of today would be. The scribe responded by saying “Well said teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he.” The scribe knew the importance of the truth that Jesus had stated. Jesus affirmed him and replied and said “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

Let us also stress the importance of loving during the season of Lent. Let it not be a shock or mystery to us that God is challenging us all to love. I hope that at the end of the day, we all are able to ask ourselves if we loved that believed. As Jesus said to the scribe, if we root ourselves in love for God and each other we are not far from the Kingdom of God.

— Jessica Kaluzny  
Lasallian Volunteer Scholar, Office of Campus Ministry


Thursday, March 19

Matthew 1:16:18-21,24A

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

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Reflection:

Today has always held a special place in my heart as it is The Feast Day of St. Joseph and in my personal opinion, Joseph is the best name. But kidding aside, the Feast of St.  Joseph calls me to reflect upon the little we do know about Jesus’ foster father.

In today’s Gospel we read about Joseph and his visit from an angel. Many of us can recall this scene to our memory instantly, the thought of Joseph asleep as an angel tells him not to leave Mary and that she is to bare a son named Jesus. Such a beautiful scene, but for me my attention is always taken elsewhere when I read this passage. There is one line in this passage I instantly think of when I think of Joseph. “Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.”

That one line can go by unnoticed but to me it says a whole lot about Joseph and whole lot about how we could react to a situation. Joseph decided to take the high road, he could have said, I was wronged and I want her to pay for it. I feel so often that is the route I want to take, I want to be compensated for some wrong that has been done to me. As we see in this passage though, sometimes we do not see the whole picture. We usually respond from our perceptions and not the true reality that has taken place. To me that is what this time of Lent calls us to, an intentional time to slow down. God invites us to take our hopes, concerns, and needs to Him in prayer before we react. We are in a society where we go go go, we don’t take as much time as we should before we act.

— Joseph Preston
Director of Campus Ministry 


Wednesday, March 18

Deuteronomy 4:1,5-9

Moses spoke to the people and said:
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?

“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”

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Reflection:

When a well-known singer comes to town, a local radio station will often hold a contest in which the prize is the chance to meet the singer backstage. This can be thrilling for an avid fan. But it can also be rather impersonal. There’s no real interaction between the fan and the singer, just a handshake, a few words, and a photo opportunity.

Now imagine getting a backstage pass to meet God. Wouldn’t that be a whole different thing? He wouldn’t just shake your hand and smile for the camera. He’d embrace you warmly, look you deep in the eyes, and make sure you knew he was very glad to see you!

This comparison is a good way of looking at how Moses described the Israelites’ special status. They were about to enter the Promised Land, which was surrounded by nations who believed in many types of gods. But not one of these gods could compare with the one true God. Which of these false gods would love them? Which would move heaven and earth to redeem them from slavery? Which of them would be closer than a brother? Only the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

Likewise, we are surrounded by people and things that promise fulfillment. But none of them can give us what God offers. Who can compare with the One who fashioned you and continues to call you by name? Who can compare with a God who has laid down his life for you?

God has many rivals. Many forces compete for our attention and affections. But these rivals are like celebrities we might meet backstage. They aren’t committed to us, and they aren’t interested in us in any significant way.

Today in prayer, try to make a list of all the different ways God has been involved in your life. Think first about the truths of the faith: he created you, and he redeemed you. But think also about the ways he has shown himself to you personally. Write them down, and post them someplace prominent. Let these stories prove to you that your Father loves you deeply and completely

— William Slavney 
Class of 2023, Chemistry Major


Tuesday, March 17

Daniel 3:25,34-43

Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:

“For your name’s sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord.”

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Reflection:

The text for today, Daniel 3:34—43, reminds me that the covenant God made with Abraham rests, at its deepest level, with a commitment to Him and his protection. This comes from the sincere intention—rather than any external value—of our desire to atone for sins and ask God for reconciliation even in the most trying times.  Azariah’s prayer in the midst of flames inspires me trust in God and do what is righteous, rather than worshiping an idol we know to be false, either literally in his case or metaphorically for me.

As God provided Abraham with a ram to replace his son when Abraham demonstrated his true faith, my faith gives me hope—as those in the fiery furnace had—that even in the worst of times God will accept a sincere confession, penance and atonement. Even amidst the greatest spiritual and physical poverty, Daniel 3:39 asks that “with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received; As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bulls, or tens of thousands of fat lambs.” It’s not what is sacrificed, but the quality of intention that matters.

In our time of literal plague, dissention and strife, this text brings some comfort. In Daniel’s time under perhaps the worst of all Biblical leaders (Nebuchadnezzar), the author of Daniel acknowledged: “We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader, no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you,” (3:38) yet God remains true to the covenant and protects His people. May this be true for all of us today, in sure and certain hope.

— Dr. Timothy Doyle 
Associate Vice President for Student Life 


Monday, March 16

2 Kings: 5:1-15AB

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram,
was highly esteemed and respected by his master,
for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram.
But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.
Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel
a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife.
“If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,”
she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.”
Naaman went and told his lord
just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
“Go,” said the king of Aram.
“I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”
So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents,
six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read:
“With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you,
that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

When he read the letter,
the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed:
“Am I a god with power over life and death,
that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?
Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!”
When Elisha, the man of God,
heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments,
he sent word to the king:
“Why have you torn your garments?
Let him come to me and find out
that there is a prophet in Israel.”

Naaman came with his horses and chariots
and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.
The prophet sent him the message:
“Go and wash seven times in the Jordan,
and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.”
But Naaman went away angry, saying,
“I thought that he would surely come out and stand there
to invoke the LORD his God,
and would move his hand over the spot,
and thus cure the leprosy.
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar,
better than all the waters of Israel?
Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?”
With this, he turned about in anger and left.

But his servants came up and reasoned with him.
“My father,” they said,
“if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary,
would you not have done it?
All the more now, since he said to you,
‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”
So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of the man of God.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before him and said,
“Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel.”

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Reflection:

When I first read this passage, I didn’t know who Naaman, King of Syria was. In hopes of getting the “tea” on this guy, I looked him up and oh boy, was I glad I did.

I learned that Naaman was a very respected, wealthy, and successful King of Syria. Unfortunately, I learned he also had caught a very deadly disease called Leprosy. His family mourned this; until their servant perked up the courage to share with them about a God that might be able to provide hope and a man that may be able to investigate with them what it could look like to receive a cure.

When Naaman finally met this man, Elisha, he was astonished to realize that this man didn’t come outside to greet him, the great King of Syria, he just said “Go wash in the Jordan River 7 times.” Apparently, the Jordan River was not a river that kings bathed in, so Naaman was angry that 1) He wasn’t given the treatment that he thought he deserved & 2) He doubted that the cure could really be that easy. Eventually though, he humbled himself and did what Elisha said and to his dismay, his leprosy was indeed cured. He was free from the disease and given life instead of death.

This story had a lot to do with a man being cured from a disease, but I wonder if it is actually showing us the real leprosy of all of our souls -sin. Could it be that like Naaman, the Gospel makes us wrestle with our pride and surrender it before it really cures us? I wonder if it may also be that the act of receiving the Gospel isn’t a complicated process, yet a simple response that humbly admits our need for forgiveness and a hope to trust in God who is really who he says he is-enough. 

This Lenten season I am reminded that Jesus came to this earth to rescue all of us from the pandemic of all of our souls-our sin. As the great physician, he came to extend the medication of grace to all. Praise God that this medication-the Gospel-doesn’t cost anything. Praise God that its supply is never ending, and praise God that he defeated death and gave us all the opportunity to be in recovery.

May we remember to apply this medication –the Gospel- to our hearts daily. May we not forget that it is the only thing that can cure us-not success, not respect, not wealth. And lastly, may we remember to be like Naaman’s Servant, and look to share it with those who need it, so that they too, can receive the one true cure, Jesus.

— Connie Beck
Student Activities Coordinator 


Friday, March 13

Matthew 21:33-43,45-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them,
thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
They answered him,
"He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

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Reflection:

In both the first reading and today’s Gospel, we have two examples of betrayal and in the vein of greed or envy. The first reading recounts the story of Joseph – beloved by his father – who is ultimately sold to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver by his own brothers. The favor of one seemingly unsettles others to the point of paranoia. The Gospel begins with the all too common experience of Jesus using a parable to instruct the hearts and minds of his followers. A man has prepared a vineyard for growth and success. In the course of such expansion, the workers become greedy and resent any perceived “roadblock” to financial gain – even to the point of death.

Jesus, as only He can, reminds us that greed and jealousy leave one ultimately “on empty.” Such a reward is worldly and temporary. Instead, Christ urges his followers to remember that oftentimes those whom

others reject are those whom He chooses to empower. It reminds of the chorus of my all-time favorite contemporary Christian single “Cornerstone” by Hillsong.

Christ alone, Cornerstone Weak made strong in the Savior's love Through the storm He is Lord Lord of all He is Lord Lord of all, Christ alone

This song has remained a favorite throughout my youth and young adult years – it wasn’t until my late 20’s that I finally accepted my physical differences and challenges. Sure, there were moments of growth and comfort along the way; yet, I would go through a true roller coaster of emotions for many years. It was my own perceptions – and those of others – that proved to be the “storms” in which I had to find peace. Too, Joseph and the servants also had to find peace in the “storms” facing them – both betrayal by and the greed of others.

During Lent, we know the storms of our lives won’t disappear; yet, we are reminded that in Christ alone, the weak are made strong. May our weaknesses and storms remind us that He is Lord; Lord of all

— Wilson Phillips 
Student Life


Thursday, March 12

Jeremiah 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

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Reflection:

In this passage there is a stark contrast between a barren bush in the desert and a tree flourishing with health and resources. This directly correlates with our faith life. The barren bush that is representative of a man does not seek a relationship in the Lord, but seeks strength in his own flesh. A man who trusts and hopes in the Lord experiences life, as the tree with an abundance of resources. The Lord is the giver of life in our faith, and our source of an abundance of love.

This Lenten season it is important to examine our hearts. Do I feel like the bush who is alone, dry, and lacking abundance? Lent is the perfect time to seek God and make the active choice to run to Him who gives light to our faith. We all aspire to feel like the tree who is striving, bursting with life, and rooted. Let us take this as a call to not turn away from God and trust, hope, and seek Him daily.

— Jessica Kaluzny  
Lasallian Volunteer Scholar, Office of Campus Ministry 


Wednesday, March 11

Jeremiah 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
“Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

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Reflection:

In today’s first reading, we find Jeremiah crying out for the Lord’s help after he learns that the citizens of Jerusalem are plotting against him. During this time, God called Jeremiah to go teach and preach all throughout Israel against idolatry, the greed of priests, and false prophets. Jeremiah answered the call and went forth with the directives from the Lord. The people of Judah became furious with Jeremiah’s message and he was subsequently threatened and persecuted.

Even as Jeremiah faced persecution and torment, he persevered and continued to spread the word of God. During this period of Lent and throughout the year, I practice and encourage others to work on their relationship with God. We must learn to call on the Lord in our day-to-day struggles as Jeremiah did. Life experiences can be discouraging and draining. Everyone is faced with challenges and difficulties, however if you cast your cares on the Lord, he will sustain you. We must allow God to center us in our trials and tribulations. It is imperative that you trust in the Lord and allow him to be your strength and salvation. The Lord can be your strength and support-mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Often times we are faced with a number of internal challenges that impact our relationships with others and outlook on life as a whole. If we give our internal conflicts and problems to the Lord he will take care of us.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:6-7)

One of the best ways to work on your relationship with God is by praying. Prayer is the best way to communicate with God. Through prayer, we are able ask for guidance with our troubles, share all aspects of our life with God, and express gratitude for the things he provides.  Give your worries and problems to God in prayer.

During this period of Lent, start and end each day with prayer.

— Quela Garham 
Human Resources Coordinator II


Tuesday, March 10

Isaiah 1:10,16-20

Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!

Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!

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Reflection:

As I interpreted the first sentence of the reading, I immediately took this as a call to action from God. We must hear the word of the Lord and listen to the instruction of our God. I often find myself getting so worked up and worried about what MY plan for a situation will be. I recently got told I was a “fixer”; this means that I like to fix everything, whether it be my own problems or other people’s. I honestly didn’t realize this until I got to college, but that it how I handle situations as soon as they enter my view. I, shamefully, have a tendency to feel like God is working “too slow” on fixing or helping me with the situations in my life. In reality, I’m most likely just being impatient and controlling in these times.

It’s during times like these where I have to remember that it’s okay for me to sit still and just listen to what God is telling me. I need to take the time to listen and hear what God needs me to do, instead of me rushing to try and figure it out for myself. While I need to “make justice my aim, redress the wrong, hear the orphan’s please, and defend the widow”, I also need to “hear the world of the lord” and “Listen to the instruction of our God”.

— Madison Bickerstaff 
Class of 2021


Monday, March 9

Luke 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

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Reflection:

I remember as a child my Dad telling me “son, you can’t out give God.” I was in the 3rd grade and I was trying to decide how much of my allowance I was going to put in the offering plate one Sunday morning. The point being that God is the source of all – even our very existence – and all good things come from God. You simply can’t out give God.

As I was reflecting on today’s Gospel, this memory entered my mind but with a twist. Today, I hear Jesus telling me “you can’t out forgive God.” This is a very powerful and important message.  As I am honest within my conscience when reflecting on my actions, I realize that I am in need of forgiveness from my Father in Heaven. Jesus instructs us to be merciful to one another, to not judge one another, and to not condemn another. However, these instructions come with a promise that we will receive the mercy of God. You simply can’t out forgive God.

As we continue our Lenten journey, may we freely forgive and show mercy knowing that God is that much more forgiving and merciful to us.

— James W. McGuffee, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Sciences 


Sunday, March 8

Matthew 17:1-9

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

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Reflection:

What an experience for these disciples! Can you imagine your leader, friend, mentor calling you to a special place and then completely changing his persona – his face shining like the sun and his clothes becoming white as light? And then a voice from a bright cloud passing over saying “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Pretty dramatic I would say! God the Father speaking to his beloved Son and telling us to listen to him.

During this Lenten season, as I focus on my own life, I ask myself the question: How am I listening to Jesus and his message? How do the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving fit into my daily schedule of activities? Not just on Ash Wednesday when the ideas are fresh in my mind, but how do I continue those practices throughout the Lenten season? Is my life being changed as I do so? If not, why not? What’s missing?

Stop and take a few moments each day to ask yourself the question: How am I listening to Jesus? What areas of my life need changing? How do prayer, fasting, and almsgiving help me change my life for the better?

Jesus was transfigured. I need to be transformed. This Lenten season is a time to work on that transformation!

— Br. Thomas Sullivan, FSC
Associate Director, Campus Ministry


Friday, March 6

Ezekiel 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced.
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD.
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die.
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

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Reflection:

“But that’s not fair!”  I’ll confess, I say those words considerably more often than I should.  All too often I keep a running tally in my head of all the “good” things I’ve done and compare it to the “bad” things that other person has done.  In my version, my math always leads to the same conclusion – I’m doing all kinds of positive things in life and that other person is just screwing up, ergo, I should get whatever reward I think is being handed out.  I can almost see myself in this reading, standing at the gates of heaven stamping my foot in frustration because my math didn’t match up with God’s math in the good vs. bad standoff.

And sometimes it’s really good to be wrong.  Because after all, if we really looked at the tally of “good” vs. “bad” in our own lives, I’m afraid there are days when the wrong side of the scale would be tipping down.

In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew (which you should take time to read, it’s a good one), we get another scenario that reminds us that we can’t present our gifts at the altar if we have anger aimed at anyone else in our hearts.  When you take both readings together, it’s almost like you can hear God reminding us – just like our own faculty do – to keep our eyes on our own papers, or hearts in this case.  Stop comparing your good deeds to anyone else’s or stop keeping track of who lived a good life longer than anyone else, or hey, just stop being angry at other people and thinking God won’t know.  Just like that teacher who always catches you trying to read the answers off someone else’s exam, God knows that you’re spending more time worried about being “better than” or “more right” than your neighbor when He wants you to just focus on your own journey.  He wants us to be the person who stays on the righteous path to the end of our life, welcoming those who join us along the way without worrying that they’re trying to sneak in right at the end.  He wants us to come to Him with purity, not anger at others no matter how much we foolishly think they deserve it. 

And it’s not fair. 

But if I’m really honest, I’m so thankful that God isn’t fair because if He was, I’d probably be in big trouble.  Instead, He gently reminds me to take my eyes off my neighbor’s actions and focus on improving my own.  After all, there’s enough work to be done in me to keep me busy for the rest of my days.

— Leslie Graff
Associate Vice President, Communications and Marketing


Thursday, March 5

Psalm 138:1-2AB,2CDE-3,7C-8

R.    Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R.    Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R.    Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R.    Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

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Reflection:

Our lord is very wise and courageous. We seek him for advice so we can walk in the same footsteps as he did. Although we are not perfect, he still comes to our rescue and gives us the strength we need to overcome our obstacles. Each day, I give thanks to our lord because of all the hard work he has done for us on this earth. He continues to give me hope and strength to far pass any obstacle that may come across my path.

With lots of life situations, the lord gave me the strength to carry through with my studies and give life another shot. For a long time, I found myself in a dark place and wondered if I was bound to succeed in my career choice or move forward with carrying out my daily routine. Through each day, I felt that the world around me was getting darker, and I eventually felt like I was losing hope in myself and disappointing others. After going through my doubts, I, one day, saw a light through the tunnel and heard words of encouragement from someone. It was the lord cheering me on to the finishing line and urging me to continue and finish out the race. He gave me the strength to build up my self-confidence and to have faith in myself, when pursing my career goals. I can do nothing but give him thanks for answering my call of help.

— Cherina Spencer
Class of 2021


Wednesday, March 4

Psalm 51:3-4,12-13,18-19

R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

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Reflection:

I feel that my prayer life varies from time to time especially when it comes to what I pray for. Often I find my prayers starting off asking God for something simple but usually they end up with me asking for something that I feel like I need. It is in this moment where today’s Psalm wakes me up a bit. In all my praying and all my asking, how often am I asking for humility and a clean heart? Let’s just say not as often as I could. Sometimes I can be the most humble person I know, which if you get my sarcasm, is not a good thing. True humility in this instance is realizing that I need God, and I cannot do everything on my own. This Psalm also reminds me of the power of forgiveness. So often I think that world would be so much better off if people just forgave, but I also need to ask for forgiveness, especially from our heavenly father. It is important to pray for what is within so that what is outside of me, is reflective of that contrite spirit. The Lord is at work inside each one of us, we just need to make a little room, and praying with humility and asking for forgiveness is a great way to do that.

— Joseph Preston
Director of Campus Ministry


Tuesday, March 3

Isaiah 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

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Reflection:

Today we see the true purpose of God’s Word in our lives. The Lord makes the analogy that his Word is like “rain and snow…do not return there till they have watered the earth.” Water returns to the sky after achieving its purpose of nourishing, fertilizing, and cleansing. This is especially fitting as we approach spring! Likewise, we remember that God’s Word came through Jesus, and He did not return to Heaven until he nourished, fertilized, and cleansed after his Resurrection.

As we go about Lent, it is a good time to recall the things in our lives that need nourishing and cleansing. Maybe it’s a bad habit, or a developing skill. Today let’s let God’s Word pour over us and change us as we grow in our Lenten endeavors.

— Chris Fagin
Class of 2020


Monday, March 2 

Psalm 19:8,9,10,15

R.   Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

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Reflection:

Lent is an important time in the Catholic faith because as Catholics, we get to reflect on ourselves, focus on God, and remember the sacrifice Jesus did for us on the cross. The verses from Psalms are a great start to Lent because they allow us to reflect on the Lord and ourselves. In Psalm Chapter 19, verse eight through ten it states how God knows what he is doing in our lives. The commandments and precepts that God has given us are not to restrain us, but to free us from the norms our society has placed. We live in a society where it is easy to lose God and reading versus eight through ten, we are reminded that we shouldn’t lose sight of God for being blinded by today’s world.

This is why we have the fear of the Lord and most of the time it has a negative connotation as if we should be afraid of him, but in fact it is a beautiful thing. Having the fear of the Lord, like the word says, is a pure thing. It’s more of a respect towards God because he is our Father who is always there for us. The last verse we reflect on here is that the Lord is my rock and my avenger. Today we find materialistic things to keep us busy and fill the void we have in our souls. God always calls us back to him. He keeps us grounded in our faith and helps us become a better person. Everything God has said for us has a reason behind it because in the end he is our Rock.

— Brenda Amador
Class of 2023


Sunday, March 1 

Matthew 4:1-11

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
He said in reply,
“It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.”

Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

Jesus answered him,
“Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
“Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”

Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.

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Reflection:

In the Gospel reading today, we find Christ in the desert. To all, His forty-day fast seems to have left Jesus vulnerable. The devil does not miss a beat: as soon as the pain of hunger sets in, the temptations begin.

            “Command these stones to become bread. Demand that your Father’s angels guard you. Submit and worship me, and all you could ever desire will be yours.” Each temptation is designed to challenge Jesus’s identity as the Son of God. In a similar way, the temptations we often face in our daily lives challenge our own identity as God’s children. Whatever a person is tempted by, to sin is to reject this identity. Thus, sin wounds a person so deeply that it plants within him an agony that lingers in the heart, mind, body, and soul: “my sin is before me always” (Psalm 51:3).

            Jesus’ encounter with the devil comes to a head with the temptation to power in exchange for worship, what would be the ultimate betrayal of God. That the devil attempts to tempt Christ in this last way reveals what he envisions for all of God’s children: rejection of God as their Father, leaving them enslaved and orphaned. However, the story does not end with temptation. Jesus does not merely resist the devil; rather, He replies with real strength, authority, and freedom, in contrast to the sham-deal offered by His tempter. This true power of Christ, which protects rather than dominates, is built on the confidence that His Father is deserving of all love and will provide for Him. As God’s children, we are called to shout with Christ, “Get away, Satan!” trusting that God will defend us.

Still, resisting temptation and turning to God is not easy, especially in a world which so often forgets our need to love and serve God. Even if we should stumble, we can always ask Christ to renew our hearts and spirits, to fill us with strength and joy. St. Padre Pio, who often found himself battling the devil, offers this for when we stumble: “If you should fall, be humble, make a resolution to be submissive to God’s will, and then get up and carry on.” This Lent, may we all grow strong in the desert, asking the Lord to “thoroughly wash me from my guilt… and a steadfast spirit renew in me” (Psalm 51: 2, 10).

— Caleb Parrish
Class of 2021


Saturday, February 29

Luke 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

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Reflection:

Today’s Gospel starts, “Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me.’”

Every day is a call for us to follow Jesus in our words and actions, but particularly during Lent we have an even greater call. In our holiest season, how do we make the active choice to follow Jesus? Some things that come to mind for me are:

  • Pray everyday
  • Instead of giving something up, doing something positive for myself and others everyday
  • On days when I’m feeling lazy and unmotivated, get up and do something proactive
  • When fasting or abstaining from meat, actually think about why I’m partaking
  • Say thank you to someone who deserves it, who I normally might not
  • Offer grace to a friend, colleague or stranger who may have offended or displeased me
  • Contribute some extra time and/or money to a charitable cause
  • Ask myself how I was a follower of Jesus today
  • Ask myself how I wasn’t a follower of Jesus today

The last two are perhaps most important. There are lots of ways to be followers; my list is nowhere near exhaustive. However, by checking how I am being a good follower, I know I am pleasing the Lord. By checking how I could have done better, I am being humble in my human imperfection and discerning how to be better tomorrow.

Today’s Gospel ends: “I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” I know I am a sinner, but I strive to follow Jesus.

 

— Scott Baietti
Associate Director, Residence Life


Friday, February 28

Matthew 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.”

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Reflection:

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Today’s gospel talks about how the disciples of John compare themselves to Jesus’s disciples when abstaining from something, probably food and drink. The conversation between the disciples is all about fasting, coincidental for this season we just entered? I think not. In these verses of Matthew, Jesus assures the disciples of John that their season of fasting will come. The questioning that occurs in this scripture could make one assume that these Pharisees and disciples of John are questioning their own reasons to why they are fasting. So, this can lead to us asking ourselves – why do we fast?

For me, fasting has always been an act of obedience to the Lord, whether it is in the season of Lent or in Ordinary Time. Whether I am fasting from a certain food, drink, or for an extended amount of time like I am during this season of Lent, there is always some type of growth that comes from this abstaining. Not only do I feel fuller physically when I do finish a time of fasting, I also become more spiritually full, through shifting my priorities to redirect my focus of what is really important – loving God and others.

 

— Anna Graziosi
Special Education Major


Thursday, February 27

Psalm 1:1-2,3,4 and 6

R.Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. 
Blessed the man who follows not 
the counsel of the wicked 
Nor walks in the way of sinners, 
nor sits in the company of the insolent, 
But delights in the law of the LORD 
and meditates on his law day and night. 
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. 
He is like a tree 
planted near running water, 
That yields its fruit in due season, 
and whose leaves never fade. 
Whatever he does, prospers. 
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. 
Not so the wicked, not so; 
they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 
For the LORD watches over the way of the just, 
but the way of the wicked vanishes. 
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. 

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Reflection:

As the season of Lent begins, in today’s responsorial psalm, I am reminded that God is with all of us but through obedience of His law. The faithful man in the psalm demonstrates that walking in the presence of God in His law from day and night brings hope. I find myself sometimes wanting to meet my many expectations challenging that I put to myself, especially when it comes to my education and my standards towards other people. Instead of reminding myself that if I walk accordingly as the Lord asked me to and mediate on the things that take heed to myself and to my teachings –I will save both myself and those who hear me. I remember when I was a young girl my father would expect me to walk in the Lord’s law through prayer; however, I took it for granted and I never understood why.

Today during this Lenten season, I took a step further in my life to faithfully learn how to listen then hear what the Lord is telling me. By doing so, every day is a new day to improve my internal soul. The passage encourages us to have hope on the sturdy, healthy tree, planted by the river of water, laden with fruit, and full of leaves. However, in order to prosper the fruitful tree, we must: stand straight for God, keep growing, and bring blessings to others. During this time of Lent, we have the opportunity to change something in our lives as God’s law states –lovely to behold and to use our time and talents to build people up in the Lord. Therefore, I invite you today to reflect upon what is truly that you want to do to grow the tree which will be transplanted in the garden of heaven where your fruit will never wither and your leaf will never fade. Have hope and everything will be accordingly to God.  

 

— Elizbeth Sanchez
Natural Science Major


Ash Wednesday, February 26

Matthew 6:1-6,16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

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Reflection:

Our Lenten Journey is upon us!

Every year, as Lent quickly approaches I try to plan what my Lent will be like. I spend time planning what my habits will be, from my prayer life to my fasting, I try to have everything mapped out the best I can. And planning is fun right? It puts us in control, it allows us to know the expected outcome, or even control things that help us get the most out of life. Planning is good don’t get me wrong but I know for me, planning can also lead me to trying to control everything. A control that can easily allow me to replace my need for God with almost anything else. This is where I can get stuck and have to pause and reflect on the reason why I even pray, fast and give alms during Lent.  

In reading today’s Gospel I am challenged and encouraged by the words of Jesus. Challenged by what I desire, which at times is worldly recognition or instant gratification. In these moments I can find myself easily relating to the hypocrites that want recognition when they pray or fast. I want to be known for something positive even if my inward reality doesn’t truly reflect my outward appearance. When I confront these challenges just by realizing I have them, I can allow myself to move towards what I know is right and lasting, God’s immeasurable love. This realization gives me encouragement. It encourages me to turn my heart towards God’s heart. A God that loves me and desires to know me completely. In remembering that God loves me and knows my innermost needs, I can start to plan a little less and trust a little more. In participating fully in Lent through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving I can turn my heart away from things of this world and towards God. May this Ash Wednesday be the beginning of an intentional look inwards as we journey with Jesus in the desert.

In closing I leave us with a question, one that I go back to again and again every Lent. A question that challenges me as well as encourages me to live a more authentic Christian life:

What in my life do I need to turn away/towards in order to have a more intimate relationship with God?

 

— Joseph Preston
Director of Campus Ministry