March 22, 2019

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Forgiveness, the Major Point of Emphasis in Lent

Prodigal son

The readings for Lent in each of the three liturgical years have a vertical thread, a unifying theme or topic that runs up and down over a series of consecutive weeks.

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March 22, 2019

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Repent

Repent

“Repent.” In the gospel of Mark, Jesus began his preaching with this expectation. It is a shocking opening line. Jesus does not begin with a polite greeting like “my dear friends,” nor does he begin with a blessing like “grace and peace to you,” nor does he begin with a compliment like “noble citizens and good people of this country.” He did not mince words. He was a straight shooter. He struck early with a dagger to the heart. He was brusque and abrasive.

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March 13, 2019

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St. Patrick – The Incident on the Hill of Slane

Hill of Slane

One of the more memorable events in the ministry of St. Patrick (385-461) was an incident that took place at the Hill of Slane in 433 AD, one year after he returned to Ireland as its second bishop. Initially St. Patrick settled in County Down, but a year later he set sail southward, and he chose the Hill of Slane as a place to proclaim Christianity in the Boyne River Valley area.

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March 13, 2019

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The Transfiguration: Hope in the face of hardship

Transfiguration

Hardships are part of life. So is death. Both are inescapable. Jesus went through it. So did Peter, James, and John. And so do we. When one is worried and burdened with the trials and tribulations of life, how is a person to handle it and carry on?

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March 8, 2019

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A fresh approach to self denial and good works

I will give you rest

This Lent don’t be stuck in a rut. “Same old, same old” – is old. If nothing changes, nothing changes! The same old routine yields the same old results. If we want things to be different (i.e., better), we must do things differently. Except different requires change, and change requires effort, and change can be uncomfortable. Fear and laziness are the two biggest obstacles. Don’t be afraid. Give a little extra effort. Keep what works but add or substitute something new. A fresh approach can be invigorating.

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March 1, 2019

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St. John of God, Religious

St. John of God

St. John of God was born in Montemoro, Novo, Portugal on March 8, 1495. He had a difficult childhood. His mother died and his father departed to enter a monastery. He worked as a shepherd during his early years.

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February 8, 2019

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Jesus Catches Peter

Lower your nets

On one occasion, Jesus and Peter were in a boat together, just the two of them. It was a wonderful moment. Peter sat there and watched and listened, amazed as Jesus taught the crowd along the lakeshore. Peter had never heard someone so knowledgeable. He had never witnessed someone hold people’s attention so well. He had never felt so enlightened. Peter instantly came to admire and respect Jesus. What a privilege to have Jesus in his boat.

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January 31, 2019

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St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess and Virgin

St. Brigid's Cross

St. Brigid (450-525) is also known as St. Brigit, St. Bridget, and St. Bride. She is revered as one of the greatest Irish saints, and along with St. Patrick, is regarded as one of the two columns upon which all of Ireland rests. Her memorial is not celebrated on the general Roman calendar, but it is celebrated on February 1 in Ireland.

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January 25, 2019

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St. Anna, the prophetess

St. Anna

Anna, the prophetess, an exceptionally holy woman, was present with Simeon the priest when Mary and Joseph presented their child Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2:22-38). Throughout the world February 3 is the memorial of St. Blasé, but in the Holy Land, February 3, the day after the Presentation, is the dual commemoration of Saints Simeon and Anna. Saint Luke mentions a number of praiseworthy spiritual characteristics of this remarkable woman.

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January 18, 2019

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Mother Mary’s Advice

The wedding at Cana

In the account of the Cana wedding feast, Mary gives the best advice anyone has ever given. These are Mary’s words to the wise: “Do whatever he [Jesus] tells you” (Jn 2:5). Another way to say this would be, “Obey him all the time.” Mary initially addressed these words to the servers, but they apply to all of us.

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