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Reflection for Feb 20, 2008 - Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent

"The Dangerous Life of the Prophet"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s readings teach that the life of the prophet is deadly. Indeed, of the many recurring themes found in the Old Testament, the one which links prophecy with certain death is among the most prevalent; most of the prophets of Ancient Israel were persecuted and killed by their own people. The Second Vatican Council teaches that as disciples of Jesus, each of us is called to share in Christ’s threefold ministry as priest, prophet and king (cf. Lumen Gentium). It therefore goes without saying that as prophets each of us is also called to lay down our lives in prophetic witness to the Gospel. Yet, from the relative comfort of Middle America, the prospect of dying for our faith seems remote. How then may we relate today’s readings to the particulars of our contemporary Christian situation? I’d like to suggest three practical ways in which today’s readings are relevant to the current Middle American context.

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Reflection for Feb 19, 2008 - Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent

"God Casts Away Our Sins"

Today's Mass Readings

The first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah is a powerful reading. I would recommend setting aside some time to day to meditate over it, especially 1:16-19. Of all the Old Testament Prophets, Isaiah has some of the most moving passages concerning the forgiveness of sins and God's mercy.

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Reflection for Feb 18, 2008 - Monday of the Second Week in Lent

"Your Father is Merciful"

Today's Mass Readings

The first reading and responsorial psalm for today bring out an important theme of the season of Lent: human sinfulness. The passage from Daniel even numbers some of these sins, including ignoring the prophets and not following God’s commands. The word “rebelled” even appears twice in this passage; it indicates that to sin is deliberately to go against God. Sinning is hence not just a choice for something, but also a choice against something, namely, God. Recognizing this, the psalmist cries out “Lord, do not deal with us according to our sin” (103:10a). The rest of this psalm consists of pleading to God.

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Reflection for Feb 17, 2008 - Second Sunday in Lent

The Touch of God"

Today's Mass Readings

Both Abraham in the first reading and Peter, James and John in the Gospel have a powerful experience of God. The experience is so powerful that they are willing to make radial changes. Abraham is asked to uproot his whole family and move to a place he has no idea of. Peter, James and John are willing to set up tents for Jesus, Moses and Elijah – (they do not even think about themselves) and remain on the top of the mountain. For them to such life-changing decisions, something significant must have happened.

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Reflection for Feb 16, 2008 - Saturday of the First Week in Lent

Being Perfect"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s first reading we have the narrative of the establishment of the covenant between God and the Hebrews through the prophet Moses. This ends the section of Deuteronomy (or “Second Law”) which expounds on the law. Both parties of the covenant – God and the Hebrews – are to keep up their ends of the agreement. The Hebrews “are to walk in [God’s] ways and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees” (Dt 26:17) and God will make them His chosen people.

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