Search Results for: lent

The Magi and the gifts of …. Lent?

What shall we give him?  I have always been intrigued by the magi.  Their story forms the majority of Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet there remain so many questions about these mysterious figures. Where did they come from? How did they know to follow the star? What did they think when they found the Holy […]

Lenten Fasting and the Barren Fig Tree

Is Lent about fasting or feasting? Maybe the two are related, says this commentary on the story of the barren fig tree from the gospel of Luke chapter 13. Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving. Three inter-related fertilizers which help barren fig trees bear fruit. The Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Lent (Year C) — Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, […]

Forty Days of Lent and the Temptation of Christ

Why Lent has forty days, the meaning of the number 40 in the Old and New Testaments, and the meaning of the fasting and temptation of Jesus Christ in the Desert… The Mass readings for the First Sunday of Lent (Year C) — Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Psalms 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13. In the English language, the special […]

Your plan this Lent… or God’s?

The prayers of the liturgy are rich, and one of my favorites is the collect of the Mass for Ash Wednesday: “Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.” I love the image of entering […]

Daily Lenten Reflection — The Grace of Conversion

“The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, ‘Why did you not bring him?’ The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this man!’ The Pharisees answered them, ‘Are you led astray, you also?’” (John 7:45-47) Jesus was attracting great crowds and not a few converts with his teaching and signs. This was […]

Why your Lenten plan won’t save you

Every time Lent rolls around, I know it’s my chance to start over. Whether it’s strengthening my prayer life, stripping my daily routine of clutter and distraction, eradicating a bad habit, or building new good habits, Lent is the time to transform things. I make a plan. I make intentional decisions that will get me holy. And then I fail. […]

The Meaning of Lenten Sacrifice

On the Second Sunday of Lent, the church places together the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah with the story of Jesus and three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration.  Together, these stories teach us the meaning of Lenten sacrifice. This post focuses on Abraham, Isaac, Moriah and the Transfiguration. It is a reflection on the readings for the Second […]

A Lenten Reflection on Christ in the Desert

“…if anyone wishes to seriously exercise the spiritual life, he had better know that the company of people that hold our own faith and worship in our own churches is a most difficult company to keep. And we ought not to pretend we can follow God very far unless we know that it is a desert like asceticism.” I write […]

Lent, Noah and Baptism

This article on Noah’s Ark, Lent, and baptism is offered as a reflection on the readings for the First Sunday in Lent (Year B) — Genesis 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18; Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10. In today’s fuzzy moral landscape, it is quite unpopular to even speak of sin, never mind condemn it. It’s even more politically incorrect to talk […]

Practical Lessons for a Deeper Faith this Lent

An Invitation to Enter the Desert with Christ As we begin the Lenten season today, we are called to enter the desert with Christ; to turn away from sin and towards our God. Many of us realize that we are called to face difficult questions during this penitential season.  The challenge we face is not only for us to ask those questions, […]