May the word of the Lord fill you with love and bring you peace.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022815.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers and sisters only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 

In this day our enemies may not be so easy to detect. When there is a disagreement with others, there has become a saddening trend to demonize those on the other side. Instead of praying for those whom we do not get along  with, we complain, argue and criticize. Loving our enemies is not easy, but we must do our best to remember that God loves everyone, and wants us to do the same. Try praying for those who disagree with you, they may not change but you surely will. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to love those I should love and respect those who disagree with me. In Jesus’ holy name I ask for guidance and help, Amen. 

Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022715.cfm

Thus says the Lord GOD: If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord GOD. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live? 

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die. You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!” Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,  he shall surely live, he shall not die. 

How much clearer does the Lord have to be? If we sin we die, if we repent we live. He does not want anyone to die, but we choose life or death by our ways. We choose how we live our lives and we choose whether we will sin or not. If you sin, repent. You will be forgiven and will live for all eternity. The heavens will rejoice when you do. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your mercy and forgiveness heal our wounds when we turn to you. You offer us eternal life and so many turn away from you for the pleasures of this world. May your word reign in this world. In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen. 

If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022615.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. 

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” 

What are you seeking? The pleasure that is fleeting? The happiness that depends on what you own or how many people like you? If you seek Our Lord, He will give you pleasure beyond what you can ever imagine. He will love you as no one ever has or ever could, His love is unending, not judgmental and there is nothing that you can do that will cause Him to leave you. Knock on the door that opens just for you. Love Him and you will never have to seek another pleasure on this earth. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I knocked and you answered. I was sought forgiveness and you answered me. Thank you Lord for your unwavering love and faithfulness. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022515.cfm

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.  Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.” 

Will the men of Nineveh rise up and condemn us? We hear the word of God but do not repent. We have no excuses, we read the word of God, we read of the wisdom of Solomon, yet our generation thinks we can do as we please with no consequences. What about you? Are you like the Ninevites who repented when they heard the word of God? Pay attention to the sign of Jonah and repent. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I hear your word and try to live it. You took me back when I repented of all I have done. My prayer is that I continue to live your word and not turn away from you love. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

 

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022415.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 

“This is how you are to pray: 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

“If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” 

The Lord wants us to keep it simple. We do not have to go on and on. When you ask someone for something, you are usually direct and to the point. Why not be so with our Lord? He gave us this prayer to guide us on how we should ask. Do you keep it simple? 

Prayer: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. 

From all their distress God rescues the just.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/022315.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘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.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” 

Lent is a time to look at ourselves and see what we do “for one of these least brothers of mine”. How does our life effect change in others? If you think your life does not affect others, you are wrong. Every day, what we do – and do not do – sends a message to someone. It is up to you to decide what you want your message to be. Are you aware of “these least brothers of mine” or do you pass them by? If not you, then who will take care of them? Will you be the one Jesus tells to “depart from me?” Only you can make that choice. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to see you in all my brothers and sisters, but sometimes it is so hard. Give me the strength I need and the will to do what you are asking of me. In Jesus’ holy name, I pray Amen. 

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

 

Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022215.cfm

 And at once the Spirit drove him into the desert and he remained there for forty days, and was put to the test by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels looked after him. After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from God saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.’ 

Jesus was driven to the desert by the Holy Spirit. He went there to prepare for what was to come. We need to go into the desert during these days of Lent to prepare our hearts and our minds for what is to come. We look forward to the Resurrection, but are we ready for it? What are you doing during this Lent to prepare yourself? Temptations are ever present in our life. Only by taking this time can you be ready as Jesus was to turn satan and his distractions away. Be ready, because they will come. But will you be prepared? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I need the strength of Jesus to turn avoid the temptations in our world. Help me prepare my heart and mind Lord to turn away from evil. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.

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