Lenten Reflection for Sunday, April 6, 2014

Let Us Remember, We Are in the Holy Presence of God:

Our Theme for this Week: Live your life to the Fullest:

Jesus 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.”

John 11:43-44

Do not live in fear, nor wish to live halfheartedly. Live your life to the full, not selfishly, but honoring God and others.

 

ST. JOHN BAPTIST DELASALLE. PRAY FOR US.

LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS.  FOREVER.

Lenten Reflection for Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Reflection from Father Francis Muriithi, Chaplain

Let Us Remember, We Are in the Holy Presence of God:

 

PRAYER:   Loving Father ~
together we pray to walk in faith and charity.
Ever trusting in your mercy:
You always wait for us, love us.
You have pardoned us with your Blood,
And pardon us every time we go to you to ask for forgiveness.
Let us be renewed by your mercy.
Let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection.
Let us be loved by Jesus -
Let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too;
And let us become agents of this mercy,
Channels through which your Holy Spirit can water the earth,
Protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.
Amen.

REFLECTION:  Let us be Merciful: Luke 6:36

 

During his homily on March 28, Pope Francis dedicated his homily at Friday Mass to the mercy of God, emphasizing that while God is firm in his call for conversion, he is always waiting to receive the sinner with open arms. Think about how patient God was, waiting for the conversion and obedience of David, Solomon, Jonah in the Old Testament, and St. Paul, St. Peter, Matthew and other Apostles in the New Testament? God practiced Love, Grace, and above all Mercy in carrying out His mission with such weak souls. He is waiting upon you to respond like these iconic figures, who were weak vessels, but God made them strong. Reflect on the following:

 

  1. Boundless Mercy of God-God does not tire of forgiving. We are the ones who tire in asking for forgiveness. Let us always take advantage of the immense mercy of God who waits upon us to come to him, no matter what kind sin we have committed; he has the readiness to forgive. Such includes those who killed his own son; he forgave them. There are many ways in which we kill Jesus today-by denying him publicly, yet God loves us out of His boundless mercy.
  2. The Prodigal son: This one of the best examples of God’s unconditional Mercy and Love. The father looked at his son and pitied him. He did not so much contemplate on the huge amount of resources the son wasted, but valued the fact that he came back alive. This, analogically, is how God extends his mercy to us, in spite of how much we waste our lives.
  3. The Good Samaritan: This too, is an iconic story of how our practical witnessing of mercy goes beyond our boundaries. The Good Samaritan helped by seeing the problem, not the person. How many times in our lives have we looked at the person for whom we are extending our mercy, rather than focusing on the problem at hand. Jesus’ attitude toward those he healed based on real issues, not the person’s background. However, he demanded the virtue of faith to accomplish the mission of healing and offered healing and redemption in addition to the individual’s response.

POINTS TO PONDER: 

 

How many times Do I UNCONDITIONALLY practice mercy toward others like God, the prodigal son’s father, or like the Good Samaritan. Let us learn to extend our mercy beyond the boundaries. We have sinned in many ways Lord, have mercy on us; and, give us the grace to practice your boundless gift of mercy, be showing mercy to others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp_8H_2T9hQ&feature=youtu.be

ST. JOHN BAPTIST DELASALLE. PRAY FOR US.

LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS.  FOREVER.

Lenten Reflection for Monday, March 31, 2014

A Reflection from Wilson Phillips

Let Us Remember, We Are in the Holy Presence of God:

SCRIPTURE:  “God does NOT care about our abilities; rather, He seeks our availability.”

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
                                                                                                      Second Corinthians 12: 8-10

 

REFLECTION: 

As a part of my Lenten reflection today, I have chosen to share what I consider my “power verse for life.” We oftentimes find that scripture speaks to each of us differently. Yet, in my case, I have yet to find a verse that spoke directly to me the first time I read it as the verse above from 2nd Corinthians. And, after reading it, you might realize why it speaks so strongly to me. However, I think it has merit for each of us as we travel this journey in preparation for Easter.

In our lives, we are oftentimes distracted by our vices- egos, opportunities, our stature within our peer groups, and wealth amongst other things. The routines of our lives can cause us to ignore the daily gifts we receive from the Lord. One of the greatest gifts we receive is the opportunity to help those in need of our support- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. These opportunities don’t necessarily have to be grandiose expressions of love or selflessness. Sometimes, the most powerful gifts are the simplest expressions to offer.

In the Gospel reading this week, we hear the story of a blind man receiving his sight after years of blindness due to the courage of some faithful followers. In my own life, many people made themselves available to give me a second chance at life. These “everyday people” allowed themselves to be open to the will of Christ; and in turn, each person made a tremendous difference in the life of a young handicap boy whose life was not promised to him. My doctors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, teachers, professors, co-workers, mentors, family, and of course, “my kids” have given me the will to wake up each day and persevere. Yes, that would be you! You have been a part of my journey. When you open the door for me, drive me places, push me in a wheel chair, help charge my broken-down scooter, help me carry things- you are showing compassion and mercy for me. And while you might say it’s nothing to do those things… it’s everything to someone like me.

Take a moment today and realize that you-with your willingness to serve others as Christ’s hands and feet- are making a difference in the world around you. Be merciful today- your availability to others makes a profound difference to those around you.

 

POINTS TO PONDER: 

As you reflect, listen to the words of this song. It’s a song about relationships; but, could it be said that this describes your relationship with Christ?  

 

ST. JOHN BAPTIST DELASALLE. PRAY FOR US.

LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS.  FOREVER.

 

Lenten Reflection for Friday, March 28, 2014

Let Us Remember, We Are in the Holy Presence of God:

Preface: As we have explored the scriptures this week, we are reminded of the sacrifices made for us and the opportunities we have to be Christ’s hands and feet on this earth.  Sometimes, we assume that our Walk with Him has to full of major milestones; rather, it is oftentimes a consistent daily commitment that we make to imitate and follow the urgings of our hearts.

For our reflection today, we encourage you to relax, put your cell phone away, close your eyes, and listen to the lyrics of this popular hymn.  May these words speak to you in a new way during this Lenten journey.

John Michael Talbot- Here I Am, Lord

ST. JOHN BAPTIST DELASALLE. PRAY FOR US.

LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS.  FOREVER.

 

Lenten Reflection for Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Reflection from Br. Tom Sullivan, FSC

Let Us Remember, We Are in the Holy Presence of God:

SCRIPTURE:  “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs? He will answer them: ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ ” – Matthew 25:44-45

REFLECTION: When I was living in Africa I had a man come to our compound one evening around 5:00 pm asking if I could possibly help him with some money for food because he had been walking all day looking for casual work but had no success. I knew the man from previous encounters and knew that he was an honest man who was telling the truth. He told me that there were times that he had looked for work all day and when he found none, he would purposefully not return home until late at night when his wife and four children had gone to bed. Why? Because previously when he had returned home empty-handed, he had to listen to the cries of his children who were hungry because they had gone to bed but could not sleep because they had no supper that night. He said he felt ashamed, a failure as a husband and father, and it broke his heart to see his family suffer and ,especially, to hear his children cry, because he was unable to provide for them. Needless to say, I did help him with some money for food that evening.


When we have unlimited access to food in our dining hall and have money to purchase food and snacks anytime we feel like it, how often are we conscious of others who do not have such access, and who not only may go to bed hungry each day, but are also very conscious of the fact that if they have a family, their family also goes to bed hungry that day?


If you have visited the Mid-South Food Bank here in Memphis or Saint Mary’s Soup Kitchen, or any charity food distribution center and listen to the explanation of how much food is distributed each day here in the Memphis area, you come to realize it is not only in Africa that people go hungry, but it happens here in our own backyard!
During this Lenten season let us take some time to reflect on how we can personally continue to assist those in need so that when Our Lord asks us what we did for the least of his people, we will have a good answer!

POINTS TO PONDER: 

  • Am I doing anything during Lent that will make me more aware of the needs of others and how am I responding to that awareness?
  • When it comes to food, have I ever gone “hungry” for any length of time? How did I react during that time?
  • What are some ways that I might begin to become actively involved in some charity “assistance” organization and continue that involvement throughout the year – not just during Lent – knowing that people have daily needs?

ST. JOHN BAPTIST DELASALLE. PRAY FOR US.

LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS.  FOREVER.

 

Lenten Reflection for Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Reflection from Fr. Francis Muriithi

Let Us Remember, We Are in the Holy Presence of God:

PRAYER: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, you are a great God of Love and Divine Providence; from the beginning of time, you have been our provider. “The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven” Psalm 105:40. As such, we give you the most high praise for the bountiful blessings you give us to nourish our bodies and our minds. Help us to selflessly sacrifice the little we have in order to feed the many hungry people in the world today. Amen

REFLECTION: Pope John Paul II said time and again, and I quote, “No one is so rich that he or she has nothing to receive; and, no one is so poor that he or she has nothing to give” Bearing this in mind, our reflection this week is anchored on these beautiful words, and focuses our attention on Giving bread in different ways, according to prophet Isaiah 58:10. As Isaiah teaches us the different ways, let Evangelist Matthew climax our reflection as we ponder on these beautiful words, BUT challenging words by Jesus:

  1. I was hungry you gave me food: Let us head the great call by Pope Francis who said that he is deeply scandalized that people who have food can afford to waste is, while many people in the world die each day due to pangs of hunger. Remember the rich man and Lazarus?
  2. I was Thirsty you gave me a drink: Every thought how precious water is? Just imagine that according to statistics our human body is 70% water; it is not a coincidence that Jesus places this precious commodity second after food in the Holy Scriptures. Make a difference by not only appreciating the great gift of access to clean water, but also, contributing to the noble venture of providing clean water for all (see Movie on Reflection Song).
  3. I was a stranger, and you made me welcome: Kindly remember the Good Samaritan parable. The Good Samaritan extended his charity and care to a stranger. Jesus comes in many challenging situations to test our generosity. He is the stranger, “when you did it to one of these little ones, you did it to me”.
  4. I was naked and you clothed me: Hey, do you have that piece of cloth that has been in your closet for the last 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 months, and you’ve not worn it? It’s not yours; give it to a poor person, cloth the naked by giving it to a charity of your choice. It will make a remarkable difference to the poor person; and provide bountiful blessings to you.
  5. I was sick and you looked after me: Mother Theresa of Calcutta in India transformed the lives of many sick people by sharing her love with them, by praying for them and visiting them. She touched them in very extraordinary ways, through ordinary simple gesture of love and visitation.
  6. I was in prison and you visited me: Pope Francis has in the recent times showed us how precious the people in prison value being prayed for and feel loved. If you have not, Try it and you’ll get the satisfaction of how much they’ll appreciate your visit; your love.

POINTS TO PONDER:  Think about how much we sometimes are SO privileged, by watching the following movie…Kenya Water Crisis

ST. JOHN BAPTIST DELASALLE. PRAY FOR US.

LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS.  FOREVER.