Who do we reveal our inner most self to? Only those who we really love and trust. In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on a mountain and reveals His heavenly glory to them. At first they have to be stunned and amazed. Then they see Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. And as quickly as this wonder occurs, Jesus is back in human form and goes down the mountain with them. As we read the Scriptures, this passage takes place before the denials of St. Peter and the request of the brothers James and John to sit at His right and left when He comes into His kingdom. How much of an impression did this experience really have on them? Surely they were humbled to see Jesus transfigured into His heavenly body. How awesome to see Moses and Elijah talking with Him. Then the voice from heaven saying, “This is my chosen son, listen to Him.”READ MORE
Even three hundred years ago, believers found it difficult to sustain for forty days the proper Lenten spirit. That's why even then, countless Christians turned to the writings of Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704), whose great piety and simple eloquence won him renown as one of the greatest preachers of his time. From Bishop Bossuet's sermons and spiritual writings, believers drew ever greater Lenten wisdom and strength. Now translator Christopher Blum has selected from Bishop Bossuet's voluminous works fifty brief but remarkably powerful meditations that complement the daily readings at Mass during the Lenten season, thus offering to us the perfect companion for a thoughtful and fruitful Lent. If you read and meditate briefly on just one of them each day in Lent, I guarantee that this good French bishop's eloquence will soon have you not merely remembering the events of Christ's journey to His Crucifixion; it will have you spiritually walking with Him on that journey, which is precisely what we are called to do in Lent!
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” These words are very familiar to us since they are the concluding words to the prayer Jesus gave us when His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray; the Our Father. Temptations are part of life. In today’s Gospel we see Jesus Himself being tempted by the devil in three different areas: hunger, acceptance and popularity, and power and control. Jesus had just spent forty days praying and fasting in the desert. That experience heightened His trust in the Father’s love and presence to Him. He had to be physically hungry, but because He first satisfied the inner thirst all human beings have for God He did not use His power just for His own personal satisfaction. As we read and ponder the way people encountered Jesus in the Gospels, it is very clear that He was not seeking personal popularity and acceptance. His goal was to open His listeners to God’s love and acceptance of all who sincerely opened their minds and hearts to Him. Finally Jesus did not seek power over others. He never sought to be in control of anyone except Himself. Up to His very last words on the cross He expressed love for even those who crucified and mocked Him and trust in the Father: “Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.”READ MORE
Bishop Robert Barron offers five sermons on the spiritual discipline we must cultivate in the Lenten season, a discipline centered on Christ. These meditations cover topics such as finding our identity in God, prayer as the key to mission, our thirst for God, how to end our alienation from God, and how to embrace the way of happiness joyfully.
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It is always exciting to plan a trip. That means we are going on a journey. Who are we going with? How will we get there? What or who will be the ultimate destination? This coming Wednesday, we begin the season of Lent and are invited to have blessed ashes placed on our foreheads. One exhortation we could hear is: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” What we are called to recognize ever more clearly is that we are all on the same journey, the journey of life. We know but do not always see so clearly that the end of our journey is the day we die. Then what? Then we come not so much to a place, but to a presence, the presence of God. What we do on our journey through life will determine who we are when we get to that ultimate moment. Lent is an invitation not to dwell on the inevitable, but on what our journey through life is all about. What or who gives us hope, meaning, inspiration, determination, and purpose? Where does God fit in?READ MORE