Reflection for March 2022

Community Word
We are saved by our faith in Jesus, God’s chosen Son.
Order
“This is my chosen Son, listen to him.” (Lk 9:35)
Reflection
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a day of fast and abstinence. We are humbly reminded on this day, as ashes are administered on our foreheads, that “from dust you came to dust you shall return.” It is rightly so because, human as we are, we commit sins and the season of Lent invites us to renew our lives, “to rend our hearts and return to our Lord our God.” It is a time of reconciliation, a time to examine our conscience on how we have sinned against God, wronged others, or failed to do our duties as Christians. Lent is a time for prayer, deeper meditation on the gospel truths, and reflection on Christ’s life, passion, death and resurrection, to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to do penance, for self-denial to fight evil. Fasting and abstinence enable us to fulfill charity love and works of mercy as our offering to God. Our Community Word tells us that we are saved by our faith in Jesus, God’s chosen Son.
Though we are busy with our daily chores, in work, family and other activities, during these days of the Lenten season, let us pause and reflect on God’s messages in the readings of the four Sundays of Lent as He directs us: “This is my chosen Son, listen to him,” (Lk 9:35).
On the 1st Sunday of Lent, our theme – Our faith in Jesus, God’s chosen Son, strengthens us to resist temptation, invites us to be reconciled with God by listening to His Son, Jesus. Listening requires action, doing something to achieve the purpose for which God’s word is sent. Jesus has to take pre-eminence in our lives, giving Him our utmost attention, honoring God with the first fruits of our labor. We are sure to resist temptation as we cling to Him and follow His example in fighting evil. Through prayers and fasting, our relationship with Jesus is strengthened. Temptations in life will always be there, but Jesus has shown us the way to resist them, “for not by bread alone does man live but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,” (Lk 4:4). The sacrifice we make in whatever form of self-denial purifies us and helps us to grow in faith, believing in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead. As we confess this truth, we are saved as this promise tells us – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” (Rom 10:13).
For the 2nd Sunday of Lent, the theme is – Our faith in Jesus, God’s chosen Son, brings us to listen to Him to transform our life. It is in our true faith in Jesus that our lives are renewed. For many of us in the community, our journey to renewal began in our LSS where we experienced our own theophany, for it was there that we strongly felt the manifestation of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit. However, our transformation does not happen overnight; it is a continuing process as we struggle with our individual human inclinations. As we endeavour to know more about our Lord, our faith increases as well as our love for Him, thus enabling us to follow Him closer and serve Him fully, surrendering our lives to Him. He strengthens us as we become spiritually empowered by the Holy Spirit. In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul exhorts us, “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Phil 3:20). Thus, we look forward to this glorious promise of our Lord, “He will change our lowly body to conform with His glorified body,” (Phil 3:21a).
Our faith in Jesus, God’s chosen Son, leads us to repentance and fruitfulness – is the theme for the 3rd Sunday of Lent. All of us Catholic faithful are enjoined by the Church to avail of the sacrament of Confession (or Reconciliation) regularly and most especially in the season of Lent. True repentance brings about the saving power of Jesus as we put to death the control of sin in us to live in His righteousness. We are called to repentance, a call to a change of heart, not to be complacent, but always remembering the very purpose for which we are called. We are to nourish our hearts, “to cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it, it may bear fruit in due season,” (Lk 13: 8-9). The message of Jesus is clear. Every moment of the day, we are given that opportunity to reconcile with Him, to repent of our sins, to turn away from a sinful way of life and be converted to a life modeled by Jesus. As we do, we claim his promise in Ps 103:4, “He redeems your life from destruction, crowns you with kindness and compassion.”
Lastly, on the 4th Sunday of Lent, the theme is – Our faith in Jesus, God’s chosen Son, allows us to be reconciled with God and receive His graces. Jesus always assures us that His grace is sufficient for us. Let us not procrastinate or be self-confident, but rely strongly on the grace of God. Let us seek to know Him more, to love Him and serve Him more, especially in ministering to the needs of the poor, the downtrodden, and the outcasts, doing all these with a pure and clean heart. In short, we are enjoined to go into mission, proclaiming Jesus as our Savior King. In Romans 10:13, St. Paul tells us, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Whenever we fall, let us not be discouraged and remain lost in the mire of self, but listen to the voice of the Father, rise up just like in the parable of the prodigal son. We are being asked to end our worldly strivings and be comforted by His promise in Luke 15:31 – “You are with me always, everything I have is yours.”

Readings
March 6, 2022 – Dt 26:4-10/ Ps 91:1-2, 10-15/ Rom 10:8-13/ Lk 4:1-13
March 13, 2022 – Gen 15:5-12, 17-18/ Ps 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14/ Phil 3:17-4:1/ Lk 9:28B-36
March 20, 2022 – Ex 3:1-8A, 13-15/ Ps 103:1-4, 6-8, 11/ 1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12/ Lk 13:1-9
March 27, 2022 – Jos 5:9A, 10-12/ Ps 34:2-7/ 2 Cor 5:17-21/ Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

 
 

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